One month ago, the educational centers were closed due to Covid! 9 and the confinement of the population in their homes was spreading from one country to another like a waterfall. We hear from some of our centers. We had news from Brazil and now it is the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Argentina who are sending us how schools are facing the situation.
Technology has prevailed in all of them and reveals unmet needs. Some deficiencies are not being rectified (the lack of internet and terminals to connect in many families); others, those of formation in these media, are being approached by the sisters, teachers and other staff of the centers with authentic dedication and professionalism.
ELÍAS PIÑA (República Dominicana) – Biula Ramos, FI
Our school is on the border with Haiti, the students are mostly Haitian Dominican and another Haitian minority. They speak two languages, Spanish and Creole.
It is a community forgotten by the government, it does not have water or electricity, for which it is impossible to carry out a follow-up program for students. This is the third week without class at school, we cannot follow up with parents because they cannot read.
It is one of the few schools that the government did not donate laptop to students, due to the condition of the school. For this reason, students have not been able to put jobs at home.
The teachers are from Elías Piña, they have not come any closer to the workplace. When I go and see some, I tell them to start reading at home and that those who know help those who don’t know. It is a very difficult reality in these moments that we find ourselves.
The ministry has set up the platform to put homework for students from home, but with this school we cannot do this due to the conditions in which we live.
Bucaramanga (Colombia) – Ana P. Mendoza, FI
Here since March 16 we have no classroom classes. That day the educators met and we agreed to work the next two weeks with workshops that would be uploaded to the platform. The first week we had a high number of students who hadn’t submitted their papers … so we started calling and talking to those families and personalized emails that we didn’t have time for. The answer was positive … although some had difficulties such as lack of internet, even a lack of a computer, but they solved it. The evaluations were the following week … and so it was done, it was a marathon, a forced learning, but we can say that from March 17 to 27 we worked through the ICTs on the platform and with joy we can say that all but 3 of the 762 students were able to present their work. This made it possible for us to close grades from the first academic period. Today we deliver virtual bulletins from the platform to encourage families.
The students went on vacation from March 27 to April 19. We are dedicated to training in ICTs, how to open a Youtobe channel, make a video, download it, create a bloggler, etc. and we have already signed up for Google For Education to use these tools in the coming weeks because we believe that we will continue to teach in through technology.
No one is saved from the economic difficulties, at school we are already beginning to feel it, some are going to withdraw them. We are attentive to help families who need and wish to face the situation by keeping the children studying at school, we are analyzing and looking for solutions.
This is our panorama, but we can say that we are super well thanks to God, no member of the educational community that we know of has been infected so far, thank God.
CÓRDOBA (Argentina) – Cecilia Martínez, FI
The sisters, our families and the teaching community are doing well.
On March 2 we started classes normally, at the three levels of the College. We have had two full weeks of activities. Since Monday, 16 students and teachers have stopped attending school but continue to work at home. Teachers prepare and send assignments and activities to students, from the small ones in class 3 to the ones in the last year of secondary school, they return them to be corrected. The directors are working very well in the accompaniment and supervision with the teachers. Everything virtually.
The accompaniment, moreover, the knowledge of the various situations that the families of the school may be going through is a great concern that we share with the directors. We are working on the creation of a blog that acts as a communication channel with them; not in academic matters but in sharing and helping us live this time with hope.
MONTERRICO-Jujuy (Argentina) – Anita Gallo, FI
Around here, thank God, we are fine.
The forced confinement begins to weigh despite having a nice park to walk but now it is what it touches. Since March 16, we have been in mandatory quarantine throughout the country.
Virtual classes were set up with the Google classrom platform and from there we are managing ourselves. Each one working from home and dealing with teachers, students, families and managers virtually, as well as the administration part working from home and virtually with the different offices.
We have a good response from the work of the boys through these means and also very committed teachers and managers, taking advantage of all the means available.
Also the Pastoral team are preparing proposals for Easter so that families with their children can celebrate at home, on the coming of sorrows we plan to send with a few words that encourage everyone to live this time very united to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We continue to be united in prayer and encouraged in hope at a very critical moment for all humanity.
Manresa School, Parañaque (Filipinas) – Ma. Leoly M. Quitorio, FI
The teachers were then instructed to make full usage of our on- line instructional learning system by uploading learning activities and worksheets for the students to work on-line at home and hopefully with the guidance of the parents. Teachers were also communicating on-line through “GENYO-on line “to the students if they encounter difficulties. The administration also decided to adjust the grading percentage for the last quarter by giving more considerations to the school works of the students before the stoppage of classes. The parents were informed of the administrative actions as well as assured that the first two weeks of the next school SY 2020-21 would be devoted to the review and re- teaching of the important learning skills missed or not mastered yet by the students.
Yochien Akenohoshi de Hayama (Japón) – María Ángeles Kaneko, FI e Isabel Romero, FI
As it was an unexpected thing, because the Government made this decision overnight, in groups the children with their mothers came to collect their things because the closure lasted until the end of the course.
The graduation of the children was held on March 13 but very simplified and with the presence of a single member of the family, the mother or the father, and all keeping the protocol required by the Government, such as the use of masks.
The teachers have continued to come in shifts and families have been kept informed of the steps being taken in preparing for the start of the new school year, and how children should act at home. Photos of the sakura (cherry) and Yochien tulips that they admire so much and that are usually in bloom when they start the course have been sent through email. As they are little homework to do, they have not been asked for anything. At the country level of the Ministry of Education there have been special programs on television for children of different levels.
We trust and ask God that this pandemic will happen sooner and soon we can return to normal life.