“What motivates me is the passion for my profession, always knowing the value of my professional contribution”
It has exactly been one year since the first covid case in Guatemala, and it has not been an easy one. But while in other countries schools have been opened and closed throughout the last year, children in Guatemala have had to rely on distance learning since March 2020. Unfortunately the government still does not want to reopen the schools.For the students, the school does not just provide them with education but also gives them space to develop physically as well as emotionally. And most importantly; the schools are a safe space for NDG students. For older children, NDG has been able to provide tablets to make online education easier. For younger children, parents can collect worksheets and maybe have a quick chat with teachers about the progress. Then they have to continue to study with their children.
Of course, this situation is not ideal and the whole NDG team is constantly trying to improve the learning environment for all of their 547 children so that they can receive a complete and valuable education even in these circumstances.
We interviewed the principals of the three schools in Guatemala about the current situation and how distant learning has influenced their relationship with the students.
Alejandra Garmez, Marvin Mirnas, and Vinicio Chavez, the principals of our three schools around Antigua give insights into how their professional lives have changed since March 2020.
Since last year, Marvin has struggled mostly with the different levels in which the parents are educated, as they have to teach their children. Since the San Lorenzo school is a primary school, children especially need help and cannot do most tasks independently.
Vinicio on the other hand, sees the challenge as an opportunity to grow, without a doubt, it is a unique experience where the appreciation of our life and the character of being more human in solidarity with others becomes clearer than ever.
They all agree that the relationship with students has been mostly affected by the lack of personal contact. The teachers as well as the principals are usually quite close to students and like to chat with them during recess or before school. Since most students attend the same school throughout their education, personal bonds are formed, which are now difficult to maintain.
Despite all the challenges that everybody is facing right now, the NDG team is doing its best to keep a smile on everybody’s face. Alejandra emphasizes how important it is to convey not only knowledge to students, but also information about the development of human skills. This is so essential for success in school and life. The schools are always trying to create new and improved distance learning opportunities that are accessible for everyone. But most importantly, they continue to provide psychological support to the children and their families. ensure the development of emotional and social skills to promote the well-being of families.
As the last question, we were wondering what keeps our principles motivated even after one year of not being able to see their students in person. Their answers were truly heartfelt and show how much they care about their profession.
We hope that the passion and motivation of our principals shows how important their profession is to them. They know that they can truly empower students through their education.