Since the start of the Covid-19 virus outbreak at the beginning of this year, teachers, students, parents, staff, and the management team of DBS Denla British School, a leading international school that bases its teaching on the British independent school curriculum located on Ratchapruek Road in Thailand, have collaboratively joined forces to overcome the crisis with the #DBSStrongerTogether or DBS Stronger Together campaign. It was initiated to draw on the school’s collective strength in the well-being of its community.
The School’s Safe Environment Contributes Towards the Overall Well-being
Since the outbreak of the virus, DBS has introduced heightened health and safety measures through the collaborated efforts under the 3 protective pillars, namely, measures that involve screening, cleaning, and creating knowledge and understanding. These measures include activities, such as body temperature screening, checks on passports and travel history of everyone entering the school area, regular deep cleaning in every area of the school with antivirus detergent, providing updates on the latest developments regarding the virus, and promoting proper hygiene practices.
Under the DBS Stronger Together campaign, teachers and staff collaborated to create video clips to provide encouragement, such as when the Music Department entertained students who have to study online at home, or when the Nursing team produced a video clip to demonstrate on how to wash hands properly. The Thai Language Department encouraged everyone to greet each other with a ‘Wai’ instead of shaking hands, and other departments have gathered together to send heart-warming good wishes to the DBS community.
Academic Excellence Must Continue, albeit in a different format.
DBS has provided a full range of online distance learning courses since the school was temporarily closed. In the online platform, students are required to wear their regular school uniforms during the online classes, in order to create a notion that they are still studying in a normal classroom. The advantages of this ad hoc type of learning, are that the students have increased the opportunity to practise their own learning, become more self-disciplined, and responsible as independent learners. Under normal circumstances, there are always teachers and staff who provide constant care. However, when studying at home, the students must be able to help themselves as much as possible, which is a crucial life skill that is required when they further progress to study at the university level. The key to providing an effective distance learning programme is a team of skilled teachers. Teachers are not only responsible for teaching, but will also be required to provide assistance and motivation to all of their students to reach their set goals, while parents also become more involved with their children’s studies.
A Great Response!
After starting the distance learning program, DBS has received a tremendous amount of praise from parents as they have never seen such an impressive programme before. Students have become more proficient in the use of technology, where everyone is able to study online seamlessly, attending classes by themselves with a little assistance from their parents. Here are a few comments from the parents;
“The kids are really happy. They are more mature and responsible than we previously thought. They seem very enthusiastic about their studies, maybe because they would like to see their teacher and friends.”
“My child said that it was fun. They can do everything by themselves. They’re very proficient. We have nothing to worry about.”
“Wearing the uniform is amazing. The kids would just grab their uniforms and sit, and wait at their computers from early morning.”
“The children are very excited. They can adapt easily. They have become more independent. Even the little ones can do it by themselves, which is beyond our expectations.”
In addition to online schooling, DBS is also an active participant in a campaign to support the Social Distancing practice in order to reduce the spread of the virus, by organising the Virtual Tour programme, in which Open Day sessions and the school tour are conducted in the form of an online video. This is organised for those who are interested in getting a first-hand experience of a world-class environment and facilities of the school. The experience also includes live discussions with the school staff without the need to actually travel to the school as well.
Our Community Must Be Stronger Together.
We acknowledge that the children who study here are more fortunate than many others. Therefore, we must not forget to give to those who are not as fortunate as us. During the current virus epidemic situation, DBS has also donated necessary items to various children’s foundations, such as the Rainbow House, or the Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities Foundation in Thailand, and the Pakkred Babies’ Home. These foundations do not have enough protective equipment and the children do not have houses or other places to stay in order to avoid the virus epidemic. DBS, therefore, has donated disinfectant cleaners, gloves, and masks, to these foundations, to enable them to protect themselves as much as possible, as it is not just only one community that will be able to overcome the obstacles, but all parties must work collaboratively to get through the crisis.
True Understanding of Parents
With the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic, the DBS Board of Directors led by Dr Toryos and Dr Temyos Pandejpong, sons of Mr Arn Pandejpong, the founder of the Denla School Group; and the Senior Management Team, led by Mr Mark McVeigh, DBS Principal, have therefore approved significant changes to the fees policy. There will be a 30% discount applied for the 3rd term tuition fee payment of the current academic year to all families for as long as the distance learning continues. As for tuition fees for the next academic year, all leading international schools increase their tuition fees on an annual basis to cover their increased costs. However, DBS is well aware of the present situation and understands the economic impact that parents may be facing, and has therefore decided to oppose this trend and freeze the increase of tuition fees for the 2020-21 academic year, even though the school has to meet rising costs in its determination to maintain a world-class quality education environment
“Soon we will meet again”, is the word that is on everyone’s mind at DBS. When the school was closed to comply with the government’s directive in a bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Thailand and around the world, DBS laid out a schooling plan in order to continue to promote academic excellence for its students. At the same time, students must also be able to experience enjoyment in order for them to be able to cope with the situation and attain well-being similar to actually being at the school, in accordance to the school’s main objective of “Nurturing Global Leaders”. Meanwhile, the #DBSStrongerTogether campaign has also reflected the collective positive attitude of the DBS community towards the Covid-19 epidemic, and echoed the school motto, “Semper Ad Maiora”, or “Always to Greater Things”.