Apologies for the title, which I borrowed from the World Economic Forum (WEF). This pandemic has changed the scenario in all sectors of society worldwide. Their website states, “There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to cooperate in simultaneously managing the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. To improve the state of the world, the World Economic Forum is starting The Great Reset initiative.”
For starters, I do not intend to critique nor support this initiative. That is not the purpose of this article. I should say, I was intrigued by it because of the many reactions and responses it solicited from all sides of the political, economic, and religious spectrum. Their “objective” is to respond to the global effects of the pandemic and identify the opportunities “to shape recovery.” That sounds interesting. “The main criticism is that it represents a socialist, globalist conspiracy in which a small transnational, unelected elite are cooking up a self-serving agenda for global control and dominance at the expense of the rest of us.” But again, I am not even going to begin to delve into this topic.
My mind goes to a direction closer to our hearts. Heading to the second year of the pandemic, we should ask ourselves, “What have we done, so far, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the education community, the School of Tomorrow® community in particular?” And to follow that up, “What opportunities have we identified to shape the future of our Christian Education ministries?”
If there is a “great reset” in our school ministries, what will it be? In the last year and eight months, there have been a lot of initiatives both on the side of SOT®P and each individual school. From the Remote Learning Center Education, to the creation of Learning Continuity Plan template, to the hosting of CET and EdCon webinars, and, most recently, the introduction of the 4th edition PACEs, there were initiatives to help our schools rise to the challenges of this pandemic. We recognize the innovations of schools that brought us to a place of sharing best practices to help one another cope with the hurdles we need to overcome. Be it in motivational strategies or technological applications, we have moved towards a higher level of cooperation and collaboration.
But what kind of “great reset” do we really need? We can upgrade, we can update, we can upskill, we can have all the “ups” available but I propose that we enter a greater level of resetting.
A VISION RESET -
No, I am not recommending that we revise our vision and mission statements. I am challenging everyone to revisit the very reason we all started our school ministries – Pre-DepEd (if there is such a term), pre-tribulation (you know, when we faced fiery trials that were not part of the plan when we started), and pre-COVID19. If there is one place this pandemic has brought us to it is back to where we started. That burning bush experience when we first all had a “revelation” of God’s call to the ministry of Christian education. That day when we said, “This is it!” This is what God has called us to do.
I remember when we were willing to go to court for “The Great Commandment” in Deuteronomy 6:7 to “teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” We were convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was our Biblical Mandate to send our children to Christian schools.
My first personal encounter with the ACE School of Tomorrow® was second-hand. It was through the words of my Pastor who was fully sold-out to the system. He was totally absorbed with his new-found relationship with the “individualized, Biblical system of education”. He was on fire. Those from our group who went to their first-ever ACE training at Mountain View Bible Baptist Academy in Balibago, Angeles City were changed. Transformed by the training they went through. Though I was involved in the school ministry, my first training was in 1987. That was my baptism of fire. I knew then that I would be an “ACE guy.” That was my point-of-no-return.
Decades went by and what was simply obeying God’s call to the education ministry was complicated with compliance to requirements from the government, the concerns on results of achievement tests, the ever-changing curriculum standards, and more. What kept us on track was revisiting our vision again and again – why we had a Christian school. All the above are important but these should never overshadow the why-we-do-what-we-do. I have seen schools leave the system to “comply” with government requirements. If our school left the system, then we would have abandoned the very reason for our existence. Why? Because it was SOT® that lit the fire of our vision for a school.
Let us not be distracted. We respect the reasonable supervision role of the government over private schools – our schools should serve as models in our respective communities. We believe that we should score high in achievement tests as a testament to the excellence of our system. We maintain that we should be competitive. But these are not the reasons for our existence. These are results. These are evidences. These are proofs. Our reason for existence is to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Our “great reset” is the refocusing of our lenses to the reason for our existence as Christian schools. This pandemic has not changed that. Let us use this present scenario as a window of opportunity to shape the future of our Christian education ministry by remaining faithful to that original purpose.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 15:58
 “The Great Reset,” World Economic Forum, 2021, https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/, accessed September 16, 2021
 The Opportunity, “The Great Reset,” World Economic Forum, 2021, https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/, accesed September 16, 2021
 Chris Watkin, “Five Questions Christians Should ask about The ‘Great Reset,’” The Gospel Coalition Australia Edition, March 12, 2020, https://au.thegospelcoalition.org/article/five-questions-christians-should-ask-about-the-great-reset/, accessed September 23, 2021.