This pandemic has opened up Pandora’s box. The fast spread of Covid-19 imperils our health, economy, education, spiritual and psycho-social well-being. The community quarantine is gradually tormenting our lives day by day, which brought up many worries and fears, but with God’s loving grace, we could survive. As we face the school year 2020-21, many of us were shattered in this trying time. This pandemic has caused us a lot of uncertainties, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Our safety is our utmost concern, but we also thought of our stakeholders who were also having the same situation or maybe worse. Fortunately, we now have this advanced technology where we can reach out to others virtually.
The whole Sacred Heart College Guidance Team continuously convene virtually using the different social media platforms available. We try to strategically plan for ways to assist our stakeholders, specifically our students who are greatly affected by this pandemic. Our goal is to identify ways to reach out to our students and develop new approaches. The dedication to our work was tested with the challenges of providing guidance services to our clientele without affecting the quality of programs offered. To continuously deliver our services, we have to innovate and embrace the new normal brought about by this pandemic. With the help of our brilliant mission partners from the MIS/IT Center, two of our major services have been made online, the Online Admission and the Online Counseling. This modified program helps us reach out and continue to have a personal encounter with our clientele through phone calls and video calls.
As we desire to carry on with our mission to efficiently and effectively serve our students, a lot of changes have been made. Interviews, counseling, and follow-up are all conducted online but with the utmost confidentiality. Homeroom guidance is facilitated in more creative ways by preparing activities and recorded presentations and guidelines that target our students’ immediate needs, primarily their mental health and well-being, and the development of social skills. Although we do not see our students, we continue to check on their status by sending them messages, posting motivational phrases, and sharing self-care tips. We have observed that anxiety and depression are greatly immobilizing them and our students appreciated our presence as they were able to seek help and air out their concerns. We have created secondary Facebook accounts and admission Facebook page so we can easily connect with our clientele. Student webinars and Peer listeners, and peer facilitator’s training/workshop was conducted virtually to help the students adjust to these challenging times. And all referred students are well attended by their corresponding counselor, and follow-up is always conducted to ensure that they are well guided.
We underwent a trial and error process, and our faith is the one that gives us fuel to continue doing our mission which is to be of service to everyone, anytime, anywhere. There have been difficulties along the way that tested our persistence and faith, but we continue to hold on to each other as one family in Christ, ready to support and assist one another through prayers. We also rely on the belief that God is in the midst of everything we do and that He is always in control and our guidance and protection. We know that we are our Father’s servant, and the delivery of guidance services to reach many students, parents, and stakeholders is not just an ordinary job but a mission to fulfill. We thank the Lord for keeping us safe in these trying times and for giving us the courage to move forward. God allowed us to be creative and resourceful, and we believed that everything will be accomplished according to His will.