At 8 o’clock in the morning on August 24, 39 students from the Los Fortines communityIn Nayarit, they sang the National Anthem in Cora, their native language.
With their green mask the children of preschool, primary and secondary school, who They do not have Internet or a cell phone to continue their classes, because in their community sometimes there is not even to eat, they began their 2020-2021 school year.
But there were those who no longer returned. Half of the high school students had to go to work due to the tough economic situation their families face.
At this beginning of the school year, some children did not go because they were far away or did not want to study anymore. They went to the coast to work due to lack of money, the economy is the main reason for this abandonment, because Los Fortines is a humble community, very poor in which they have almost nothing to eat, ”said Alfonso de la Cruz, who fulfills the function of academic accompaniment to the four leaders for community education of the National Council for Educational Development (Conafe) who take education to this indigenous community, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.
Two weeks after the start of the school year, Alfonso is concerned that there are only three children in secondary school and they need at least five for the program at that level to continue.
In this case of secondary school, as they are adolescents, at the beginning on Monday (August 24) we had two students, before the pandemic there were 7, and educational leaders are fighting so that they return to school again so that they continue studying and keep learning; now one more has been added, there are already three children, but we need five ”, she said.
Alfonso, a 27-year-old education graduate, recounted in an interview with Excelsior the difficulties it faces for the boys and girls in Los Fortines to continue studying, despite adversity.
On Sundays at 5 am he leaves his house. Walk one or two hours along dirt roads, depending on the weather conditions, until you reach Los Fortines where, the next day, together with the leaders for community education, will knock on the house of the students who, in the absence of a signal television and internet network should continue their learning via booklets.
With the rain the road turns to mud, ditches are made, with the stones you slip when you walk to the community, but still I arrive. One day the rain hit me and I didn’t even have to get wet, but fortunately I had a bag to put my books in, “he said.
Los Fortines is one of the 22,000 most marginalized communities in the country to which Conafe provides educational services to 301,000 basic education children, through 32,000 leaders for community education.
The work of leaders like Alfonso is the only way in which these children can receive an education at the moment, since in five out of ten homes there is no television so they can follow their classes and in seven out of ten they do not have telephony either.
Technology doesn’t exist here, they don’t have electricity, they use solar panels, but not all houses have it, so it is a complication for them. In Los Fortines we are Monday, Tuesday and we return on Thursday to review progress and for students to give us the activities they did during those days. On Mondays at 8 in the morning we start with honors to the flag and around 8:30 the children go home and the leaders begin to go house to house because now everything is at a distance. We finished the day around 4:30 in the afternoon because each child requires a lot of attention and have different needs, with some we last 40 minutes, with others more than an hour ”, he explained.
Aware that, in the most marginalized areas such as Los Fortines, keeping children in school is more complicated due to their context, Alfonso confessed that his main dream at this time, even with a pandemic, is to bring down the historical educational lag That they face.
WILL GIVE PHONES TO EDUCATION LEADERS
Giving the 32 thousand leaders of Conafe community education in the midst of the pandemic with cell phones will not only provide them with educational materials that they can download and present to their students but also to avoid “simulations” of service provision, as they must take photographs to prove their presence in the communities.
And it is that according to the director of Conafe, Cuauhtémoc Sánchez Osio, in the past six years the simulation of services reached 15 percent.
How serious was the simulation problem? Well, very serious, and we have managed to reverse this in the communities where there was simulation; in the past administration we found no less than 4,500 services (out of 32,000 services) that were not operating adequately in the country, but all the time we have worked to reverse it ”, he highlighted.
Noting that the covid-19 pandemic has imposed challenges that have forced the institution to do things differently, he commented that not everything is bad as the fact that for the first time educational figures with cell phones will be equipped with applications that contain daily learning sequences.
When the young person or the young person (leader for community education) moves to the ‘cloud’, these educational materials are automatically downloaded to them, sometimes even with audiovisual material, with videos that once they leave the ‘cloud ‘You already have them downloaded, offline on your phone and you can present them to the children through your phone, we are even going to equip them in September with speakers to make a kind of multimedia classroom, that this would have been unthinkable in another conjuncture, ”he reported.
The second benefit is that the educational figures through photographs, their presence in the classroom will be proving that they are in the communities because unfortunately the extension of the work of Conafe throughout the country prevented adequate supervision of the presence of educational figures in all the communities and that was lent to simulation, that is, simulated services where they demanded resources for their attention and finally the attention did not exist and now with these electronic methods we are in a much better condition to ensure the presence of educational figures still in very remote communities, because once they go through the ‘cloud’ they automatically report their presence in the community and that’s it through photographs taken in situ ”, he explained.
In this context, the head of Conafe said that the resource for equipping educational figures was almost 190 million pesos by 2020.
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