Honduras: Return to school amid pandemic

Tegucigalpa/Ocotepeque. Despite high numbers of newly infected people with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, the Honduran Ministry of Education has opened 141 schools for around 18,000 students in 51 counties with low incidence values ​​after more than 17 months of pandemic-related school closure announced. The new teaching model means that the students are: two to three days in school and the remaining days of the week can participate in the class virtually.

Education Minister Arnaldo Bueso explains that everything has been prepared for the partial opening of the school. The teachers in the respective schools are vaccinated twice. This is a voluntary offer to parents who live particularly in rural areas and have no possibility of having their children taught in virtual mode.

The National System for Risk Management (SINAGER) reported on Thursday that 8,998 infected people have died of Covid-19 so far, 990 newly infected people have been reported, with the total number of infections detected since March 2020 being 342,508. In its daily report, the agency said there were 24 new deaths confirmed became. The country’s public health system is poorly equipped and riddled with mismanagement and corruption.

The Association of Pedagogues, however, criticizes the fact that there are no hygiene standards in the schools in the villages and rural districts. Schools across the country are in poor condition, there is a lack of water and electricity, and in some cases the roofs and interior fittings are broken. In 2020, a $ 80 million loan was granted by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration to build and repair schools and train teachers provided.

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According to the most recent Message of the children’s rights organization Casa Alianza are of the approximately 60,000 teachers teaching nationwide: only 2,000 inside with both anti-corona vaccination doses vaccinated.

According to the non-governmental organization Association for a Just Society, there were almost a million children before the pandemic who were not in the education system participated. The situation worsened during the pandemic with the suspension of face-to-face classes, leaving 1.2 million students excluded from the education system. Your surveys showed that not all children in a household are enrolled, 73 percent of the parents surveyed have no money to pay for the Internet and 46 percent lack the appropriate end devices.

Kevin Amed Perdomo, teacher from the rural Ocotepeque in the west of the country, told amerika21: “We don’t have the prerequisites for such a teaching model, there is no internet or technical equipment. So far we have paid for copies and internet of our money. We use it own tablets to teach digitally. The ministry did not train us in digital teaching. Most of the teachers are older than 40 years and have just a basic knowledge of using computers. Many parents have to work and leave their children with all the homework oneself.” Pressure is now being exerted on the teachers to guarantee this presence in the schools, although there are no means of complying with the hygiene standards in view of the pandemic, Perdomo added.

For this reason spoke On August 25, Fidel García, President of the Secondary School Teachers Committee (COPEMH), publicly opposed partial face-to-face teaching in state schools.

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