TURKEY

Ulus Jewish Schools Managing the Pandemic Crisis

The Coronavirus Pandemic that might be encountered in 100 or 150 years and affected all the world is testing the crisis management of the scientists, health care managers, and the educationists.
Virna BANASTEY
Ulus Jewish Schools Managing the Pandemic Crisis
UÖMO students during online classes

Translation by Janet MITRANI

Scientists are working hard in their labs to find a medical cure like drugs or vaccines to defeat this virus that captivated the world. Health care providers are working with an exceptional effort, away from their families and under risk, to heal the patients. 

Besides these, the educational institutions that had to be closed as the crisis emerged, were compelled to switch rapidly to the online education model, which is a brand-new system for students and parents. 

Ulus Jewish Schools was able to continue its education incessantly with an education staff who use technology efficiently and its online-ready foundation. We asked Röne Kaspi, the Education Coordinator of Ulus Jewish Schools (UÖMO), how UÖMO is managing this crisis period. 

Nobody was ready for a crisis that would affect the world this much. How are you coping with this process as Ulus Jewish Schools? 

As Ulus Jewish Schools, we are meticulously following the academic and technological studies in the world. For years we have been performing some of the international joint projects we carry out with other schools from around the world, via online systems. Our students have been getting online educations with the ‘Massive Online Courses’ system we had started in our high school 4 years ago. Naturally, in time our technologic systems have been structured according to this practice. Our staff, who constantly keep improving themselves on education technologies and our instructors who have been making presentations for other schools on the ‘Education Technology Platform’ were ready for this day. 

We have been following closely the contagion capacity of and the precautions that needed to be taken for the virus that affected the world, ever since the beginning of January. First, we activated the hygiene measures in the school. With the foresight that the schools might be closed in time, we further improved our technical infrastructure for live streaming and distance education system, to be able to sustain education digitally, and started to prepare our online educational materials. As a result, we were able to execute distance learning from day one.

As educationists, we also have learned many new things about the online education system during the process. Our teachers are working in a more intense program than their schedule at school, to keep the students’ motivation high and to ensure sustainability. 

Music, instruments, arts, physical education, yoga, computer and experiment classes continue online, because we think they will contribute to the motivation of the students. Students are attending online classes with their P.E. teachers, doing yoga, and start the day with mindfulness. 

Our guidance counselors get regular feedback about the students. They also continue their usual guidance meetings, carry out one-on-one meetings with the parents and the students through the online appointment system. 

We are looking forward to overcoming this period with health as a community and can’t wait to be back together in our school once again as UÖMO Family.

     

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