JAKARTA, Indonesia, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With the successful launch of SIS Myanmar in September 2020 and now ASIS Chennai, the SIS Group of Schools continues to increase its regional footprint despite the biggest shock to the global education industry in 100-years. The SIS Group of Schools will continue to grow its presence in Indonesia expanding its schools from Jakarta to other parts on Java island and the island of Sumatra. More schools are slated to be opened in Indonesia in the far-flung islands of Sulawesi and Kalimantan in the next few years.
The SIS Group of Schools is a strategic partnership with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) to bring quality education to as many income levels as possible across the developing world.
Even while many schools see double digit declines in enrollment amidst a global pandemic, the SIS Group’s total number of schools and student body growth is linked to a quick pivot to digital tools, parent-approved Distance Learning and taking care of their teachers.
The Pivot to Digital
With innovation a core value, SIS administrators and teachers had been using Zoom and Google for years before the Covid-19 pandemic forced governments to close schools. Early on, they surveyed and interviewed parents and students to discuss potential technological hurdles. This was done in parallel with regular pandemic planning meetings with staff – all remotely via Zoom. Using guidelines from the WHO and CDC, the leadership team created a group wide Covid-19 7-Point Response Plan for the possibility of government closures prior to these closures becoming reality. This meant that by the time schools were closed by various government agencies in March 2020, SIS teachers, students and parents were already prepared as much as possible for Distance Learning.
The group is now looking at ways to enhance its Distance Learning program.
“Without a doubt, the use of technology in the delivery of pedagogy is here to stay even when we emerge from the pandemic,” says Alvin Hew, Board Director and Group Managing Director of the Group. “That’s why we are now actively looking at the use of virtual reality as a way we teach and do things at SIS.“
93% Parent-Approved Distance Learning
A key element in the success of their Distance Learning program was listening to parents. Andrew Paterson, Director of Schools, SIS Bona Vista & SIS Kelapa Gading in Jakarta, had this to say about the journey:
“We began surveying our parents to discover potential hurdles well before the schools were closed and this allowed us to prepare more than schools that were caught off-guard. We discovered potential challenges some of our parents and students would have while studying online from home and by the time schools were closed we had a lot of those challenges figured out.”
Parent Survey results conducted by the SIS Group of Schools show that 93% of parents are “satisfied” to “very satisfied“, and found the Distance Learning program to be “well organised and easy to follow.”
Taking Care of Teachers
The SIS Group of Schools employs a diverse faculty of hundreds of expatriate teachers, many of them single and living alone. From early on, the leadership at SIS recognised that being isolated, far from home, represented a mental health challenge. To combat the effects of isolation, free access to professional counseling, free movie streaming subscriptions and regular, informal online social sessions were set up for these teachers to help manage their well-being.
“Teachers are the secret sauce of every great school,” Hew said, “So it’s important that we make extra efforts to take care of this very important constituent of our community“.
About Singapore Intercultural Schools
Founded by a Singaporean, Jaspal Sidhu, SIS Group of Schools was established in 1995 with its first premises in North Jakarta, Indonesia. Today, SIS Group of Schools supervises eight schools across Indonesia: Singapore Intercultural School Bona Vista (SIS Bona Vista), SIS Pantai Indah Kapuk, SIS Kelapa Gading, SIS Cilegon, SIS Semarang, SIS Palembang, SIS Medan and RICS Kebon Jeruk.
SIS Group of Schools is unique in their offering of three of the world’s best curricula; the Singapore Curriculum, International General School Certificate of Education (IGSCE) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.
In 2019, SIS was awarded the global Financial Times – IFC (World Bank) award for its transformational work in education.
SIS Group of Schools CONTACT:
Mr. Lenard Murray
Head of International
SIS Group of Schools
TWOMC Public Relations