Covid-19 has claimed so many lives since it started at the beginning of 2020. Media houses and social media platforms have up to date statistic showing evidence of the number of people infected and those who have died in almost every known country in the world resulting to the call for lockdown in many nations across the world. For many countries in Africa especially in South Sudan education has been stagnant for more than one year since the closure of public places for social gathering schools included. This has also resulted into the closure of formal education. Since formal learning and closure of schools could not be separated in South Sudan, only history will tell how many dreams of young people have been shattered and buried in the year 2020 due to Covid-19 lock down.
How do we observe the lockdown while nurturing the dreams of our young people? In fact, how do we live our lives purposefully with Covid-19 restrictions without burying the dreams of our young people?
One of the prominent Educators recently gave a profound and revealing answer that in most of the developed nations, schools have been closed but formal learning hasn’t. In other words the classrooms have been closed but formal education was still going on through various platforms which are available on the internet. How to keep formal learning despite the lockdown is the challenge that every parent, educator, leader, institution and nation has to earnestly wrestle with and for those of us in the developing nations having poor or lack of internet access, it is a threat just as big as the pandemic itself because if we cannot provide formal education to our children despite the lockdown, we will be burying more dreams of young people and indeed our own nations as time passes by. A community or nation without formal education will sooner or later cease to have a clear and common vision of life and reality.
Therefore, Emmanuel Christian College sought possible avenues to ensure that formal education is not interrupted. On February 1, 2021 the students of Emmanuel Christian College, started their classes. Through a blended learning approach; a combination of distanced learning, face to face short lectures and a maximum observation of the health procedures for the prevention of Covid-19 ECC, students continued their learning.
At the end of the first term all our students have finished their outstanding courses from the academic year 2020 and approximately 80 students have completed their studies in various ECC certificate, diploma and degree programs.
As a college we have discovered that dreams can be nurtured, young people can be encouraged and a clear vision of tomorrow can be inspired despite the covid-19 challenges.