Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Current situation and 2014 plans

2014 started with planning of the projects we want to run this year. There are few we start now and others we plan to start within next weeks of months.

Primary school: classes at school started 12 days after the date when they should have been started. The government did not sent utilities for kids on time, actually they did not send it yet and no one knows when this happens. There was a meeting, teachers with parents to buy the most needed utilities to start school classes. Some parents bought them and send kids to school, others didn’t (because of lack of money on the second half of January). So on the 4th of February (the school should start on the 16th of January) there are half of students at classes and teachers say they cannot actually start teaching the material from the grade as other kids might have problems later. So they are repeating the material from last year or just let kids go at 10 (instead of 12:30), some days teachers just don’t come. One of the teachers changed the place of work on Monday and now he will be working in Telemán. That means that there are 5 teachers for 6 grades + pre-primary school so third and sixth grade have the same teacher and 4th and 5th grade have the same teacher. Apart from the teachers not coming to school, these kids will have it even more difficult. That’s the primary education situation in the village and in Guatemala..

The main objective of Li Ch’utam is to support education, especially primary education in Nueva Mercedes so we already had a meeting with teachers to discuss how can we support them. Each of us will be working with one-two teachers, supporting them with preparation of their school activities if the require it, being present at some hours/days if needed and preparing and running after school activities according to kids needs, teachers activities and Guatemalan curriculum. So far now we managed to talk to each teacher and they only tell us that they cannot actually start teaching and don’t know the needs of each kid as they have less than a half of students subscribed.. Anyway we know more or less what material they will give in the next weeks and according to that we prepare our afternoon classes that will start this Thursday. Tomorrow Li Ch’utam meets with all the parents to present our plans, especially concerning primary education, afternoon activities at school but also talk about other projects.

Cooperation with secondary school in La Constancia: as I wrote before, this year there is a new secondary school in La Constancia, around 3km from Mercedes. Finally there are 12 young people attending this school from La Ceiba and Nueva Mercedes, 5 girls and 7 boys! 6 of them receives scholarships from Li Ch’utam. The teachers there are very motivated and students are satisfied with classes, explication and all the activities done at school. The teachers are also willing to cooperate with us, using the unique competencies of Li Ch’utam – technology and foreign volunteers. That’s why we will do computer literacy and typing course and we will be supporting the teacher preparing and assisting during English classes for all students from the first grade. English classes started today. Great job Anna!

Li Ch’utam also supports the secondary school students in homework preparation twice a week. They can come if they need any materials or explanation.

Apart from the scholarships Li Ch’utam decided to organize the transportation for secondary school students. Finally there are 38 students from Nueva Mercedes, La Ceiba, Los Recuerdos, Semahu y La Constancia que van a las escuelas en La Constancia y Telemán. Every day at 12:30 pick-up takes them to school and picks them up at 18:30 starting from Telemán.

Adults education: This month we are going to start first of the workshops for adults, mainly women, about growing vegetables. We count  on their presence and active participation in the project!