Anambra School Leaders Set to Deploy Templates for Post-COVID-19 Challenges

By Chioma Ndife

To tackle the challenges facing the education sector by the COVID-19 pandemic, an education seminar has been organized for principals, proprietors of private schools, head teachers and teachers across Anambra State.

The seminar titled, ”21st Century School Leadership and Post COVID-19 School Rebranding” held at Sharon Hall, GRA Onitsha, was geared at reawakening the consciousness of school leaders to ensure that they deployed the desired and necessary templates to effectively tackle the outcome of COVID-19 on the education sector.

Delivering the address of welcome, the convener, Hon. Dame Chinyere Joyce Mbakwe, explained that 21st century leadership was a perspective of leadership intended to respond to the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s world. She noted that the century had been characterized by constant changes and disruptions, particularly the devastating pandemic which had left its scars on all sectors of the economy.

Hon Mbakwe, who is a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Secondary School Monitoring, said that the covid-19 pandemic had posed many challenges, which, according to her, propelled inquiries on how school leaders could fill the gaps introduced by COVID, how to secure the schools and how to implement lessons brought about by the COVID.

‘Addressing the challenges brought about by the pandemic necessitated this gathering as it is very essential to understand where we are and how to follow suit. In this seminar, school leaders, educators and teachers, will be equipped with the tools that enable us to surmount COVID-19 challenges while arresting the status quo with matching methodology.

‘Great school leaders, it is worthwhile to note that the difference between a leader and a great leader is that the latter sees beyond the present to a better future and strives to get there. We are in post-COVID-19 era and we must take this gathering serious so as to queue into the new-normal and embrace it.

She described education as the most important tool for human development, noting that Governor Obiano’s Administration prioritized education to enable students to develop all their attributes and skills in order to achieve their potentials.

Speaking to teachers at the event, the state governor, Sir Willie Obiano, vowed to maintain the height attained by the education sector as among the best in the nation.

Governor Obiano, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, recalled the achievements recorded in the education sector under the APGA government and urged teachers to keep up their good work in assisting parents in teaching and moulding the characters of Anambra State schoolchildren. He emphasized the need for continuity, noting that such would facilitate more development in the state.

Contributing, the State Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, represented by the Zonal Education Officer for Onitsha, Mrs. Nkechi Ihebuche, commended Dame Mbakwe and described her as a school proprietor who had an effective understanding of the challenges of private school education.

She noted that private schools had contributed tremendously to the advancement of the education sector in the state and charged private school proprietors to continually uphold quality education, which, she said, the state was known for.

Adding his voice, the Chairman of Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education, Sir Ejike Okechukwu, enjoined teachers and school proprietors to be role models to not just their students but others in society.

In his presentation on ”Organizational Leadership, Leading for change”, the Lead Consultant of Riskout Consults, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Justice Iyiegbu, highlighted the necessary and desired leadership skills which teachers must possess to guide students aright in the post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director of Tophas Education Desk, Mr. Chris Peter, took the teachers on ‘Post-COVID-19 School Rebranding and Marketing”, intimating them on what was required in school administration, especially in limiting human to human touch.

The National President of Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria, Mr. Uzochukwu Solomon Nwanonyuo, among others, attended the event while presentation of certificate to the participants of the workshop formed the highpoint of the seminar.