Barring and Opening the Door to Quality Education
A Volunteer’s Perspective on Education
After spending almost two full weeks in Caraz, I am still amazed whenever I think of the beautiful sights, the great weather, the kindness of the people–but I am also saddened when I think of the education that children in this region receive. Last Wednesday, an eleven-year old girl asked me for help with her homework, which was to write a full page describing a famous person–in English. The problem was that her teacher never taught her any English, and did not offer assistance with the homework. This leads to a situation where the children of wealthy parents pay someone to “tutor” them (aka do their homework), and those who cannot afford to do that are left to fail the assignment. Either way, the children do not learn. But these inefficiencies are not restricted to just learning another language; daily homework for every child in Caraz consists of spending several hours copying sentences from one notebook to another. It saddens me to think that these special years of childhood, when kids should be excited by learning, are spent performing this mindless activity.
policemen barricading the Department of Education to prevent protesters from entering in. In Peru, this kind of incident rarely leads to improvement and leaves both sides–the teachers and the government–resentful and dissatisfied. Thankfully, community leaders in Caraz have displayed genuine interest in improving standards of education. They are passionate about allowing students to learn and take charge of their own future, and willingly dedicate extra community resources to benefit learning initiatives. This kind of cooperation and emphasis on education ensures that students have their best chance to enjoy learning and receive the education they need to chase their dreams. This summer, I have the opportunity to work alongside Teach a Teacher to offer assistance in facilitating this kind of positive change. We will be inviting science teachers from schools all over the region to give them resources and instruction on how to introduce project-based learning into their classrooms. Hopefully, this will excite and engage students to take an interest in their own learning. At this point, the possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
TEACH A TEACHER AND OUR VOLUNTEERS PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND HELP TEACH BASIC TEACHING SKILLS TO TEACHERS IN SOME OF THE POOREST AREAS IN PERU. PLEASE VISIT US AT WWW.T WWW.TEACHATEACHER.ORG AND WWW.TEACHATEACHER.WORDPRESS.COM AND AT TEACHATEACHER ON FACEBOOK. The author of this post, Grace Gannon, is a volunteer representing the great institution of the University of Texas, Austin.