Students around the world were some of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because of lockdowns and social distancing, most schools adapted to online learning.  Up to now, while there are schools that have returned to in-person classes, there are still many who are studying online. 

This is also the situation with School of Promise. School of Promise is a small Christian school based in Chiang Mai Thailand.  Because of the surge of Covid-19 cases in the area, students spend the rest of the school year (2021-2022) studying online.  The school provided the resources for the students to join the virtual classrooms, yet the students still faced other significant obstacles.

Bree* just completed 8th grade. She has been studying at the School of Promise since she was 7 years old.  “Everything was going great until COVID-19 came,” she shares. “The school needed to close and turn to online learning.  After that, everything changed. I had a hard time adapting to the online class. Our teachers kept sending homework.  Some of the homework was confusing.  It was hard to communicate with the teachers because of network problems.  Some teachers assigned work that was not in our worksheet or book.  They also assigned projects that I need to complete by myself or with a friend.  Sometimes multiple teachers assigned work that is due on the same day.  It was really hard to manage my time wisely,” Bree added.  This situation left Bree and other students feeling stressed and restless. She also felt misunderstood because she has to spend more time doing her homework instead of spending time with her family.  

Bree was determined to solve her problems in school. So she decided that she will change, adapt and make a new schedule based on her current situation.  She struggled in the first few days and many of her plans failed many times. But she did not give up.  She decided that she needed to focus on managing her time wisely.  Bree studied harder to understand her lessons, and if she can’t understand what her teachers were saying, she researches the answers, which gives her better learning. She also learned how to have a life balance and spends time with her father during break times.  She was able to maximize her time with her studies and family.  During the start of the online class, Bree always felt worried and tired. But now, because of her determination and perseverance, she was able to adapt well to the situation.  She was able to solve her problems and make her situation better. 

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Bree sharing about School of Promise a local mall.

Bree is only one of the students that have been impacted by the ministry of School of Promise. The school has been a huge influence on her life.  As she learns from the teachers and volunteers as a translator in the Promise Church (a church that meets on the campus), she was able to learn the values of excellence, giving your best in everything that you do, helpfulness, and diligence.  These traits helped her overcome the difficulties that she and other students are facing in this challenging time.  School of Promise is a small Christian school.  But they have a huge goal to provide students with a high-quality Christian education while also creating a space where students can be discipled and learn about God. About half of the students in the school come from backgrounds where they are at risk of being trafficked or suffering from other poverty-related difficulties. The teachers and staff of the School of Promise hope and pray that they will be able to help and equip the students for the future to live into their God-given potential.

*Name has been changed for security purposes

Contributed by: Angelina Jones, currently serving as a teacher at the School of Promise in Chiang Mai, Thailand.