How the Pandemic has Affected Clubs and Service at FIS


On March 13th, the Hessen government announced that all schools in the Hessen region should close due to the level of severity the Coronavirus has gotten to. All schools around the world had to close and students had to quarantine with their families in order to lessen the spread of the virus. Since then, our school started proceeding classes by DLP (Distance Learning Plan) using zoom. This action gave disadvantages to students and teachers, but also to school’s service groups and clubs.

After becoming aware of this problem, I decided to inform people about this by writing about how FIS’s service groups and clubs are proceeding their work in spite of this circumstance. To write this article, we got help from the band teacher, the student president of MUN, one of the leaders of Kalahari, the leaders of Poland drive, and one of the leaders of Illusion.

When I interviewed the band teacher about how the band is managing a pandemic situation, he said he had to stop all band meetings while school was on DLP, because he didn’t want to disturb students’ lunch time. But luckily among the misfortunes, when the new semester started, our school got an approval from the Hessen government that the wind instruments, like saxophone, in the band are able to play their instruments 2.5 meters away from each other outside. So the band was able to start their meetings again, but they cannot meet as often, and meet in a whole group. Not only that, most of the events were postponed, and they had to find another way to do the concert the band usually performed on December 8th. The band teacher said when they figure out how to do the concert, the concert day will be the day the whole band will meet together. During the interview, he added, “But I feel like it is not all bad, because it lets me know the students as individuals well, and fix things more easily.”

But the surprise does not stop here, as shown by the student president of MUN. He told me that big events that MUN participated in are being held virtually or postponed. Also, since they are not allowed to discuss in big groups, they have to keep students in grade bubbles even though that kind of disconnects interactions between students in different grade levels. He said they are being careful with contact between students to make MUN meetings safe. Although that is one of the biggest disadvantages MUN has to deal with, it is clear that  keeping students in the grade bubble will be the safest way for MUN to proceed with their activities.

To continue, when asked about how the pandemic affected them, one of the leaders of the Kalahari said that while the school was on DLP, it was hard to continue communication and proceeding projects using Zoom. Not only that, because Kalahari trip 2020 is cancelled, they had to develop in other ways to continue the project, which was focused on educating people in Kalahari. At the end of the interview, he spoke about fundraising and Kalahari’s prospect. “We are changing the method for teaching, but continuing raising funds. We hope when the South Africa border is open, we can bring in things we are developing on right now.”

There was another service group I interviewed with the same question which gave a similar answer. The leaders of Poland drive said it was difficult for them to communicate by Zoom while doing DLP too. Since FISWorldfest and several fundraising events are canceled, they had to figure out other creative ways to raise funds. The biggest disadvantage they got from the pandemic was the trip in November being canceled. But while doing the interview with the leaders of Poland drive, I got an impression that they are trying with hope to get over a wall called “pandemic” to reach their big goal.

Lastly, one of the leaders of Illusion said that they only had online meetings until now, and are still trying to get an offline meeting permission. Because they cannot meet after school in a big group, it became complicated for the whole service group to meet offline together. She also talked about a concert that usually was held at the end of November. They were not able to get permission to open the performance, so they cannot do that concert offline. Instead, they are trying to find out other ways to perform, such as doing an online concert, or filming their video and posting it on SNS.

FIS is going through a harsh time now. However, even though the pandemic gave adverse effects to all systems in school, school’s clubs and service groups are managing the situation to the best of their abilities well enough, while trying their best to proceed with programs while keeping students as safe as possible too. Although the coronavirus pandemic is a new challenge for FIS, I guarantee that by this challenge, we will learn valuable things we did not know before.