“Resilience is the art of navigating torrents.”
I would like to share these words from Boris Cyrulnik
as they represent the situation
that our world has been thrown into due to the pandemic.
A new school year, a new approach to pedagogy and attendance at school, this is the fight we have had to lead, in order to continue to provide effective education for all students.
From 16th March 2020 onwards, EPBI was faced with lockdown, like all schools around the world. The health and safety emergency situation forced us to revise our ways of teaching and learning.
I would like to highlight the strength of adaptability that the entire educational team, as well as parents and children, were able to demonstrate in this unprecedented situation. Indeed, during the lockdown in March, the pedagogical management team had to act urgently to set up an educational system adapted to this situation.
Thanks to G-Suite Education, each teacher has created their own “Classroom” and uploaded all of their lessons, which have also been delivered by videoconference. This method, different from usual teaching, has developed learners’ autonomy but also their communication skills.
EPBI management were not only surprised, but were extremely proud of the responsiveness of teachers, learners and their parents. Despite the build-up of stress, we were pleased to note that everything was set up to allow continuous educational support in an efficient manner.
These adaptations continue to be applied. Indeed, the COVID-19 epidemic continues to force us to embrace new ways of teaching. Since the start of the September 2020 school year, lessons taught face-to-face are supplemented by all the necessary follow-up documents and links in the Classrooms.
During the summer, EPBI prepared educational protocol guides that would be ready to be implemented depending on the state of health and security in France. At the moment, I think I am quite realistic when I say that we are ready to face any health situation while maintaining efficient continuous educational support.
While this new school year has been marked by educational changes and a rather special atmosphere, this is not the only problem facing the school. The violent attack perpetrated against freedom of expression during the terrorist assassination of Samuel Paty, a History, Geography and Moral and Civic Education teacher, leads us to reconsider the power of speech, education, awareness of all cultures and the strength of difference and their place in education and teaching today. These apocryphal words attributed to a philosopher of tolerance, Voltaire, still carry as much weight: “I do not agree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death so that you have the right to say it.”
EPBI, an international school that promotes a philosophy of openness to the world, places reflection on other cultures at the heart of its teaching, showing that understanding others will help reduce hatred and intolerance. Remember that the genesis of the IB rests on a misunderstanding following the First World War: How could men, who are geographical neighbours, kill each other? In what name can hatred and violence prevail?
The education delivered at EPBI, supported by teachers of all cultures and nationalities, to learners from all walks of life, will always seek to develop tolerance, altruism, and open-mindedness.
Freedom of expression will be a force that is always defended. If there is a value that we stand for, a skill that we want to develop in our learners, it is the ability to become thoughtful adults. Our teaching will always be based on information, objectivity and the ability to take into account all points of view. As a staunch defender of the Enlightenment, the educational team will always be committed to combating obscurantism and turning its learners into knowledgeable citizens, ready to defend universally just causes.
Because hope lies in the education and happiness of our children, EPBI will continue to fight, get involved and commit itself, no matter what pitfalls it faces.