Leadership in COVID-19 prevention and education: WLI alumna Rebecca Krai

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Friday, May 29, 2020 - 16:40
  • Australia Awards
  • Australia
  • Papua New Guinea

A regional educational setting is a challenging but rewarding spot for Women's Leadership Initiative alumna Rebecca Krai working in COVID-19 prevention.

As a teacher at a secondary girls' school in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands, Rebecca Krai is working collaboratively with colleagues to ensure the safety of the school community during COVID-19.

With a general lack of community awareness around the virus, Rebecca reports that, "Teachers are working very hard to address COVID-19 while also improvising on measures to be taken by students and also fitting into academic schedules." 

Before the resumption of the academic term, teachers worked together on precautionary strategies, and appointed a "teacher in charge" for COVID-19 issues. The school has set up a number of physical practicalities, such as monitoring all arrivals at the school gate, providing more hand washing areas, and establishing a quarantine bay in case of illness. They are providing face masks to all students and trying to set up social distancing in "already overpopulated" classrooms.

But it is in the classroom that Rebecca and her colleagues are working harder than ever. As well as keeping their students up-to-date on their regular learning, they are countering the lack of understanding on COVID-19. Rebecca says that "before every class, awareness is being done on the measures to prevent COVID 19".

Rebecca is focusing on some positive aspects to come out of all of this: greater collaborative skills for both staff and students. "It has brought the opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders, increase problem-solving skills, work as a team with the students and other staff."

Plus, she is looking at it as an opportunity for personal and professional growth: "This situation has enabled me to put into practice what I've learned in the Women's Leadership Initiative leadership and mentoring program. I have increased my confidence, creating more networks and enabled myself to take strategic approaches. Also, the stressful moments have created an opportunity for me to do self-reflection and meditation."

To find out more about Australia Awards Women's Leadership Initiative, visit the website.