By: Maria Paola Puglia | First chronicle
Caracas. With her white shirt on, bag slung over her back and lunch box in hand, Andrea* walked briskly toward her mother, who was waiting for her at the entrance of the Amanda Schnell National Elementary School in La Vega Parish, to the west of Caracas .
Daniela*, Andrea’s mother, pulled out one of her daughter’s notebooks and looked through it. You are aware of this the girl is not ready to be in third grade because he can’t read. The teacher thinks she should go to first grade.
“The teacher says it’s my fault and I see it’s not my fault or hers, I’d say it’s because of the circumstances. She is the one assigned to teach, I can reinforce at home but the truth is I don’t have the knowledge to pass it on to my daughter“– admitted the mother.
Andrea started classes on October 3, 2022, like the rest of the students across the country. Education Minister Jelice Santaela assured that more than eight million boys, girls, youth and adults are in the national education system.
According to the institution’s staff, Amanda Schnell, Distance classes that took place during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic were held regularly, according to the regulation of the Ministry of Education and Culture. They also ensured that students complied with the grades but for some children this is not enough.
The pandemic caused a health crisis that led to a mass suspension of face-to-face activities and the start of virtual classes. In 2021, educational institutions were reopened. However, it has been an atypical school year with some limitations, as most of the contagion risk measures have been maintained.
Elsa Castillo, leader of the Venezuelan Federation of Teachers, believes that the Venezuelan state I have to admit that there was a setback during the pandemic relevant to education. “The manager concerned should sit down with the professionals to look for solutions or alternatives“.
According to him, political will, investment and the use of radio, television, film forums and social networks are needed to disseminate educational advice that allows progress and makes up for lost time.
Educational psychologist Alma Rosa Caraballo explained this parents made great efforts to educate their children at home. “The reality is that they are not teachers, they are not professionals, and they have gone to great lengths to get their children through two years of school.“.
From his point of view, a diagnostic test should be applied in schools at the beginning of the school year to measure the academic success of children. Then, based on the results, it is necessary to develop and implement a remedial program in subjects such as language and mathematics.
For his part, Castillo assured that in an educational aspect, the results of the diagnostic tests they are not encouragingInstead, they are catastrophic, he warned, despite the fact that Nicolás Maduro’s government says everything is working optimally.
“what they called every home schoolcannot be taken into account if the academic level of the parent or guardian is not known“.
The Hum Venezuela report of March 2022 showed how the large digital gaps the education of children and adolescents is deteriorating. At least 3.8 million students and 310,000 primary school teachers did not have a regular internet connection, according to this study.
To this day, access to quality education continues to be difficult due to the deterioration of the capacity of the education system.
Back to school
The arrival of the new academic year 2022-2023 This is satisfying for many children, but others have come back scared. Maria*, a member of the staff of the Mercedes Limardo National Education Unit located in Antimano, said that the children of the second and third grades are the ones who have not experienced this basic stage for their development and adaptation personally, as preschool age.
“This is a period of adaptation of norms and habits, so they are perceived as disturbing and I would even say lost.“.
Leader Castillo added that when a child spends a long time without receiving lessons, there regression in knowledge. His recommendation is that this year students should be leveled to try to rebuild the basics and then go into the subject that suits them.
“This recovery will depend on the diagnosis of each teacher, there must be autonomy“he clarified.
Maria mentioned this with back to school activities also initiates a leveling process a socio-emotional part that was also neglected during the pandemic.
“Because even though they were in classes, they missed the learning part, the socialization, the routine of sharing and being kids“he added.
Psychopedagogue Caraballo claims that play is one of the main ones learning mechanisms children to normalize their routine. He emphasized that it would be convenient to use this first moment of classes to generate tools for group integration.
At the Andrés Bello National Education Unit, classes continue virtually as renovations are slow due to a lack of workers. Between the morning and afternoon shifts, 1,322 boys and girls study in this institution.
The school offers education from pre-school to primary. Karina*, the elementary school staff, was also concerned about the students’ academic failures, so the teachers agreed on a strategy to reduce the impact in the future and achieve successful catch-up.
“First grade teachers had kids who were academically top notch, third grade teachers actually had kids in first grade, and so on.“.
In view of the magnitude of this problem, teachers carried out adaptation and leveling planning. In this institution, from April to July, this scheme of work was managed.
“This new school year, the strategy we are implementing is that the same teacher who took the child, for example, in the second grade, continues to take him in the third grade and so on, so that this reinforcement is much more effective.“Karina said.
The teachers consulted admitted that if they changed teachers, they would have to reclassify the child. On the other hand, the teacher who has already attended it in the past period knows the knowledge, what limitations it has and what learning strategy will be more effective.
Caraballo explained this students are not an empty container for the teacher to fillbecause this approach wastes the greatest resource the child has, which is his brain.
The educational psychologist gave five recommendations that teachers should consider in the new school year:
- The teacher should go a step further and allow the discussion so that the student does not play a passive role.
- Generate research groups that later make presentations of what they have discovered and that the conclusions can be discussed in the classroom. This causes the brain to activate.
- The individualized teaching method makes it possible to identify those students who are not so active. It is the teacher’s job to see why their learning is slower, if they have difficulty adjusting or at home.
- A teacher is an opportunity generator. The system forces him to be a traditional teacher, but this is not ideal, the student should not play a passive role.
- We must take advantage of this first moment that closes in December for adaptation. Return to traditional teaching methods, but also integrate digital methods so that children are more autonomous and critical
Source names have been changed for security measures.
Source: First Chronicle