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Hasina Akhter, Principal, Angelica International School

2020 for me had started with renewed vision and passion towards a positive progression. Then the COVID-19 seemed to come off with a blow to all these fresh dreams and aspirations. Today, as we find ourselves in a reality that was beyond our imagination even few months ago, I try to reflect on what are the changes that this pandemic has brought in my personal, professional and social life.

Albert Einstein has said that in the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity. This is something that I learnt years back while doing a course on Transactional Analysis that says that an adult always needs to assess the moment that’s here and now. So, I began thinking how I can turn my current challenges into renewed opportunities during this crucial time.

At a professional level since I’m principal of an educational institute, at the very beginning, I consulted with my colleagues regarding the challenges in hand and devised a short term road map for the lockdown phase. Our school started online classes immediately the day after lockdown was officially announced. Soon within a month, we shifted to formal zoom classes and ensured students’ exams and assessments were not delayed, all the while keeping students’ mental health and family situation in consideration. 

The pandemic has reminded us how interconnected our world is. Despite social distancing, our isolation has been erased by the virtual meetings. My 15 year old son now takes an Arabic language class along with his Australian cousin together over the internet. I have similarly set up a home office where I can stay connected with my colleagues through virtual platforms.

If the coronavirus has come like a storm, I want to weather this storm to my best capacity. So besides my professional engagements, I have strived in taking time out for my personal and professional development. In the past few months, I have invested a considerable time in educating myself with academic studies relevant to my job, going through journals, articles, opinion pieces, attending national and international webinars, workshops among which the BSTQM’s Emerging Learning Opportunities and TQP Total Quality Management presented by AMM Khairul Bashar Sir have been very helpful.

As for family, my three children make up my small world. The lockdown cut down their busy schedule and we now find a lot more quality time to spend altogether. I have used this time to allow my children to learn and practice on daily basis the daily household chores. This increased interactivity among the family has created a lot more understanding and tolerance of each members of the family. If there’s another precious lesson that COVID has taught us, it is the importance of taking prevention before cure. All of us are now a lot more conscious of our food habits and lifestyle. I have similarly tried to develop healthy habits like having organic fresh food, cutting down processed food, yoga, meditation, and so much more.

They say after storm, comes the calm. I don’t know how long it is going to take for the calm to arrive. We can’t keep sitting sadly and idly waiting for the day to arrive. I want to make sure that this storm while leaving takes away my personal and surrounding dirt and leaves a clean canvas for me to paint the coming beautiful days of sunshine and rainbow.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

― Malcolm X

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