Mexico. Education in times of pandemic

Date 01.12.2020

Floricel is a single mother and her son Julian, 16, has been out of school for almost 9 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They live In the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the geographical area in which the AVSI Educational Strengthening program for 100 students is inserted. Here 2,290 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported (Data as 30 November 2020). On weekends, the opening of businesses has been prohibited, which has negatively impacted the local economy. Since the beginning of the quarantine (March 2020), public and private schools migrated their classes to the virtual modality, overloading students with homework. However, of the 100 students in the Distance support project, 68% do not have access to the internet and 20% live in areas that do not have telecommunications service.

Floricel does not have the possibility to pay for internet service, nor computer equipment, so every day her son has to visit their neighbors' house to connect to the internet and receive his classes.

Julián is one of the 5 winners of the tablets that AVSI has given to children beneficiaries of the "Educational Strengthening" program during the workshop "My educational summer with AVSI" organized with the objective of strengthening the knowledge of 100 children and teenagers in the areas of reading comprehension, research methodology, reading and writing, and science.

2020. Messico - Educational Strengthening (SAD) 2
2020. Messico - Educational Strengthening (SAD) 3

On the other hand, Floricel has participated in the school for parents, where in 8 one-hour virtual sessions and a workbook, AVSI helped the caregivers to accompany their children during the new educational modality.

"No one had cared for us... contingency also puts us in difficulty as parents, I am grateful for the workshop because we had not received such attention" said Floricel.

What is adolescence and how to survive it, communication and development of self-esteem in adolescence, limits, habits and discipline at home, time management and use of social networks, decision making and emotional self-management, detection of risk behaviors and prevention of risk behaviors have been the topics covered during the school for parents.

Floricel says that in the early morning she would sit with his son to complete the work of the workshop, both wanted Julián to be one of the five winners of the tablets, given to the most outstanding students.

"When Julián heard the news, he couldn't hold back their tears, because now he will be able to connect to his classes without having to borrow equipment from his neighbors" explains Sholey Castillejos, AVSI responsible for the distance support program in Mexico.

In addition, six children in vulnerable situations have been benefited with internet service for six months.

AVSI has been present in the region since the 2017 earthquakes with the project "Educational Reactivation in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec", where dozens of children faced the loss of their homes, their school, their parents' jobs and in some cases their loved ones. Now, with the Educational Strengthening program, the educational accompaniment of children - who are facing an emergency situation for the second time - continues.