Schools worldwide grappled with the challenge the covid 19 pandemic presented to education of children in the form continuation of learning, keeping the social life of students intact, risk of mental health and well being and re-opening schools safely.
Several guidelines and SOPs were being published at international, national and state level for school re-openings. However, they lacked an action oriented approach and it was difficult for the school to adapt it holistically without the understanding of the lived experience of every child, staff and family associated with the school.
In this context, DAV Public School Vasant Kunj, initiated another cycle of the CROSSWALK program to codesign the school reopening through evidence based community oriented approach. Since January 2021, DAV Public School, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi in partnership with HumanQind, a social design non profit enterprise, has been consistently working with the school community to develop an evidence based approach to reopen schools safely, equitably and compassionately.
8 PILLAR FRAMEWORK: To adopt a data driven and a community driven approach, HumanQind team translated the exhaustive SOPs into a 8 pillar framework that binds together different areas of concern into a measurable and actionable structure. This became the core framework of the school reopening process and guided all subsequent activities and decision making centric to students. A Compassion scale was developed on the basis of this framework to measure the progress of the efforts.
REOPEN BLUEPRINT: Codesign workshops were held in all user groups - students, parents and staff to include needs and ideas of all stakeholders into a refined blueprint that addresses various challenges imposed by the pandemic - spatial, evidence gap, policy and finance - across the 8 areas of concern. The blueprint put together a vision and a go-to strategy which could be translated into smaller projects and features that school could implement at a short-medium and long term to proactively look at safety and also build resilience
CORE TEAM: A Core Team was institutionalised, consisting of students as catalysts, parents as anchors and school staff as moderators, to make the 8 pillar framework action oriented and community driven. The school authorities were organised as a school council and decisions could be communicated and translated into acti
on. Each member of the core team was nominated/invited based on the requisite of competencies required by every pillar to make action collective and collaborative. Many members of the core team came from the codesign workshops held to prepare the blueprint.
COMPASS & SCHOOL DATABASE: Among multiple projects in the blueprint, the SCHOOL DATABASE was launched to close the evidence gap and understand the needs of every student, staff, family. Based on the results an approach to rebuild friendships with peers, school and community at large was essential and also activate the blueprint into reality. The school database is translated into a socially impactful tool COMPASS (developed by HumanQind) that not only prepares a strong evidence base against every pillar but also builds who is at the risk of being left behind due to their demography, socio economic situation or factors emerging due to pandemic related stress and shock.
The COUNCIL and the CORE TEAM were engaged in reviewing the data fields, creating advocacy to motivate all parents, students and staff to engage in the process. Between Dec 21 - Jan 22, a series of pan-school surveys called the ‘Pandemic Resilience Survey’ were deployed as google forms with the support of COUNCIL and every class teacher. The responsiveness among user groups were as follows:
73% student families,
60% students (class 4 above) and
93% school staff members