Last week was a very nice week for Oye LENA. Why? Since Monday, Sara and Cristhel are allowed to visit the children of the project to help them with doing homework and other activities. It was the Peruvian state that announced this corona relaxation at the beginning of last week. An update we were of course very happy about!
The lockdown and quarantine in Peru have had an impact on the education of 9.9 million Peruvian students. This because several classes were postponed or even suspended. The children of Oye LENA also felt the consequences of the breakthrough of COVID-19. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel: the distance learning, which started in April, would soon be gradually replaced by face-to-face lessons. We keep our fingers crossed that this will soon be possible again.
In the meantime, it has been three months since we had to close our project temporarily. Yet we kept busy and did everything we could to keep providing the children with all kinds of materials. Paintings, craft materials, didactic games, and more. Although we were not allowed to guide them in making these assignments, we tried to do our part by providing them with the right supplies.
Besides the learning materials the children received from Oye LENA, they also receive weekly homework from their school. Of course, we encourage this because in this way they can continue to develop themselves and keep themselves busy during the lockdown. Thanks to these teaching materials, we avoid that they fall behind and they can get back to work immediately when the schools open again.
However, it is not always easy for children to do this homework on their own without any guidance from teachers. They often receive new learning materials which they then have to teach themselves. This is of course not obvious and very hard for them. The schools also expect the children to have access to platforms such as radio, television, and the internet. If you know that only 39% of households in the whole country have access to the internet and only 5% in rural areas, then you understand that this is often impossible for our children. Many of our parents have little or no education of their own and therefore find it difficult to help their children.
Fortunately, we received good news last week: since Monday, a teacher is allowed to visit the children to guide them. Whether the local schools will do this is not yet clear, but Sara and Cristhel immediately flew in. Last week they already visited the children who need our help the most: the pupils of the primary school get homework support and some pupils with disabilities get physiotherapy. When there is still time left, our workers also visit the toddlers to continue the playful learning.
We are very happy with this relaxation and hope that in this way, the step to the reopening of the project will get closer and closer!