By Gabriela Bogran
On May 23, we visited both a preschool and secondary school in an outlying area known as Nuevo Chimbote.
The preschool was located in an area that is reminiscent of the colonies that dot the border between Texas and Mexico. The small houses surrounding the neighborhood were either made of stucco, thatched grass, metal plates, wood, etc. There is no running water here – a truck goes by each morning delivering water into concrete cisterns. Most homes don’t have electricity and city services are essentially nonexistent.
The preschool – taught by a longtime friend of Women’s Global Connection, Edith, was rather small as they had about 12 children. They were all very sweet with a few shy ones as they were hesitant to approach us. They also put on a sweet little show for us, as Edith gave them signs to wear.
Some statements read: “Early education for all” “Early education is life,” “Celebrate the youth this fine day” and “Let us celebrate with WGC.”
Though they live in a disadvantaged situation, these children are still able to receive an all-important early education. It was great to see how bright and excited to learn the preschoolers are and how happy they were with us as new visitors.
WGC has been holding professional trainings for Peru’s preschool teachers such as Edith for many years now. Incarnate Word Missionaries also help support the WGC early childhood education initiative while serving on the ground in Perú.
This school had about 1,500 kids, ranging from grades 1st-12th. The staff informed us that there are about 30 children to a classroom. The school has a long waiting list and students either go in the morning or in the afternoon. They had to split it into these short shifts because of the huge demand. Later this week, Dr. Brian McBurnett, a UIW professor traveling with our Immersion Team group, will conduct a staff training here.
The ministry of education funds their school books as well as other school supplies around the campus. They provide milk and bread in the morning and lunch for the children to pay for themselves at a snack bar if they did not bring a packed one from home.
Everyone wants the best education for their kids, but not everyone gets one. It is a sad reality that affects both developed and developing nations alike.