10 Things About the New Normal that would Emerge During these Hard Times (COVID’19)

I was on a conversation this morning with learning leaders across the world and one of the things that may happen is moving from the norm to a new normal.



1. We need to rethink who we celebrate and dignify! Over the years, we have celebrated celebrities, politicians, etc. However, we are all in one way affected by Coronavirus and now shifting to appreciating health workers, social workers, doctors, etc. I think it’s high time we start to appreciate and celebrate these people doing real work. Maybe that might change after the COVID’19 crisis.

2. Our educational system is not disruptive enough! It’s not new that 10.5 million are out of school in Nigeria and that number is doubled or tripled right now. Children cannot access quality education and the parents are lame to teach. Access is something we need to think about and even if the technology is provided; teachers cannot leverage because some are either technophobic or cannot be trained.

3. It will change how we see work and new work can now emerge. Somehow consciously and unconsciously people have begun to embrace working from home. Sometime, when you press your laptop too much, the older folks might think you are into cybercrime (Yahoo Yahoo), however, you are actually working. More importantly, our educational system has not prepared us to work from home. We still struggle with google sheets, forms, and other online tools that would enhance learning and working from home. The most amazing thing is that people find it difficult to adapt or learn how to use some of these tools. World Bank (2018) released an article and it was opined that it’s not that we don’t have a workforce, we have a lack of trainable workforce.

4. This will change how we see and perceive leadership. So COVID’19 doesn’t know if you are the senator or president. It attacks everyone and all of a sudden countries with a good health system is locking down and also fighting their fight! Then we have noticed that what we have in our health system is nothing. I think it’s high time leaders rethink how social services are provided. Injury to one, injury to all. They also cannot travel out to access quality healthcare! We are all trapped in this. What we truly need is servant, visionary and sage leaders? Who will not put themselves first above the people?

5. Rethinking how we love too! People all of a sudden are beginning to think about their neighbors! Because if their neighbors contract COVID’19, they will contract it too. So there is a lot of awareness going on around it. We need to show more love when this comes to pass. Leadership is taking care of people on the right side and left side of you.

6. There is a need to include young people during these hard times. We have been ruled by older folks for a long time and they really have no clue how to use technology to disrupt many things happening today. Young people somehow have the solution and they need to be included in the decision-making process. Maybe, this is the time to absorb young people into spaces.

7. Advocacy work would change; Its time to reflect to think if we are doing the real work. What if COVID-19 takes us on! Are we going to be proud of the work we have done and say we have left something great behind? Maybe it’s time to reflect on what true giving means!

8. A time to rethink local resources! So importation nearly has stopped and there is a need to focus on the resources we all have as a country to survive. High time we deeply invest in them and probably this might bring about real economic recovery growth plan with 21st century learning at the core and agriculture.

9. Paying attention to life skills such as creativity and emotional intelligence and including all of these into the school curriculum. It’s apparent that people are panicking and cannot analyze information. So there are infodemics today and it’s spreading rapidly. How do we prepare ourselves to analyze information and stay calm even during this period?

10. Paying big time for not investing in education and health. They receive less amount in the budget. We saw education receive 7% or less similar to health now and in the past. So, Information circulating for people to stay safe is not being adhered to most especially people who had never tasted education! That’s the result when we don’t take care of the marginalized and half of a population. More so, we don’t have a robust health care plan to cater to people. Another disaster! Maybe this might change how we see education and support the marginalized and might lead to strengthening healthcare facilities.

Ultimately, stay safe, build capacity if you can and wash your hands too. We need to hang in and believe this too shall pass!

Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2020

Photo Credit: Abiola Adenugba

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