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Coronavirus Pandemic

How this Dubai-based educator 'walks the talk' to beat Covid-19

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on August 30, 2020 | Last updated on August 30, 2020 at 05.35 pm
Coronavirus, Dubai-based educator, walk the talk, beat, Covid-19

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Annie seems to have come a long way and the pandemic has proved to be a great teacher.

As an educator, it's all the more imperative that she walks the talk and leads by example in all that she does. Apart from the mandatory use of face masks, gloves, sanitisers and frequent washing of hands, Annie Mathew, principal of Gulf Model School, has set some stringent rules for herself.

"There are many habits which we pick up over the years and follow without actually realising that we are doing it. Touching of surfaces and objects is something I have become more mindful," said the educationist.

Trying consciously to change these deep-seated habits that are seemingly small yet important, Annie seems to have come a long way and the pandemic has proved to be a great teacher. "Holding onto handrails on the escalator or stairs, checking out stuff while shopping for grocery items, placing hands on desks or countertops, touching the front seat or sides while seated in a vehicle, are some of the habits I consciously tried to abstain from."

Meanwhile, her family has been consciously refraining from all leisure outings and keeps their trips outside to the bare minimum. "It has been tough on the children but they understand the need of the hour and accept that it is for the good of all," said the mother of two sons, aged 13 and 25.

The realisation to abstain from simple pleasures of life dawned when one of their relatives - a frontline worker in New York - recently succumbed to the disease. "We have already lost a cousin to this dreadful disease and have realised first-hand, the gravity of the situation," said Annie.

Being a school leader, she feels it's her prime responsibility to do all she can to keep the communities safe and well-informed. "We make it a point, in all our virtual meetings, to dedicate time to revisit the safety guidelines as well as address the wellness concerns. As the head of the institution, I need to model my behaviour to encourage the students and staff to follow suit and I try to live up to that."

Annie feels that the guidelines laid out by the authorities are for all school leaders to follow - as individuals and collectively as a school. "It is my first and foremost responsibility to ensure total adherence to these protocols to ensure the safety of the school communities. As we go through these difficult times each one of us must behave responsibly and do our bit to tide through this. This too shall pass and mankind will emerge stronger and wiser." 

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