Since the pandemic hit Bolivia, there have been long periods when schools and community centres were closed. This leaves children who normally used the centres to learn, receive care, nutrition and health checks, to be at a loss.
A large portion of our local Bolivian partner’s programming, supported by Canadian Feed The Children, encompasses early childhood education, after-school programs, and education centres. Through these programs, children received dedicated care, meals and education that set up crucial building blocks for a child’s education. Parents who work long hours in nearby towns take comfort in the fact that their children are cared for.
But once COVID-19 caused mass lockdowns, these centres closed and both parents and children were left in the lurch. Our local partner IPTK saw an opportunity to pivot programming - moving from the centre and into the home.
We spoke with Olga, a mother of three in Bolivia, who sees firsthand the positive effects that one-on-one education can have for children.
A NEW TAKE ON HOMESCHOOL
Like many countries around the world, COVID-19 forced in-person classrooms to move virtually to accommodate school closures. However, for many communities worldwide, virtual learning has numerous barriers.
According to a Bolivian telecoms company, only four in ten people in the country have internet access, and this falls to less than three per cent of people in rural areas. Families have had to upgrade their cell phones and internet providers, which puts an additional strain on household finances and for some parents, these changes aren’t possible to make.
Knowing this, our local partner IPTK pivoted their programming out of the classroom and into the house through home visits. Olga and her four year old daughter Liz were one of the families who benefited from this one-on-one education in their home.
Four-year-old Liz sits with her teaching, learning about shapes and colours which is crucial to early childhood development.
“Twice a week a teacher visits the house and works with Liz. They do painting, crafts, math and reading. These sessions last for two hours each time,” Olga told us.
Not only has this personalized education engaged Liz in her work, but Olga has learned some tips on helping her other children with their homework.
Olga’s seen firsthand the power of personalized education for her child. “Liz behaves so well with the teacher. She follows orders, she knows her colours, she can count and knows all her shapes.”
IPTK’s revolutionary programming for in-home learning has pleased many parents like Olga. Especially in rural areas of Bolivia where the internet is almost nonexistent, having these adaptations to programming ensures that no child is left behind in their education because of the pandemic.
When people come together for children, they can achieve greatness for their futures. Our community partner IPTK and Canadian Feed The Children donors have been able to provide quality education for children to ensure that their learning is continuing. Thank you to all of our community partners and supporters worldwide who join with families to help support education, nutrition and so much more. Together, we can change the future for children.