QCOSTARICA – Today, Monday, February 8, is the return to school for children across the country. For the average family, it is an exciting time, for others like in Isla Caballo, it’s not so simple.
In the weeks and days before the start of school, parents are typically busy buying supplies (pencils and notebooks) and uniforms. But not for the mother Sugey, the fourth-grade student at Playa Torres school, in the Gulf of Nicoya.
It’s not due to the pandemic. Nor the lack of resources due to lost jobs or reduced work hours. It’s that this school, as could be many others, it lacks the most essential thing to return to school: a teacher.
Sugey’s mother, Angie Torres, says she did not buy school supplies this year given the uncertainty of her daughter’s school year.
“The teacher who was there for this year resigned, so we don’t know what will happen. I have not bought the supplies because my daughter does not have a teacher, we do not know anything about the classes. The teacher informed the parents by text message that he had resigned, they have not told us what will be on Monday or what,” she told La Nacion on Saturday.
According to Torres, as of Thursday, the school principal had not yet arrived, only the janitor and the cook
“The principal reported that she was going to see what she could do. At the moment … right now we do not know if they are going to receive classes,” Torres told La Nación.
Sugey wants to go back to school, insisting her mother enroll her in another school, the one that is on Coronado beach, on the other side of the island where there is a teacher, but the mother cannot, because it would imply an expense in transportation that is impossible for to afford.
“She tells me ‘I don’t want to be at home’: I tell her to wait until there is a teacher, but she answers ‘why don’t you send me there’ (the other school), but the distance is a lot, you have to go by boat, it’s very long and you have to spend money on gasoline every day back and forth, it is a lot of money. Walking, it’s seven kilometers one way, it’s too much for her,” explained Doña Angie.
In another area of the country, another mother who also has suffered many sleepless nights with the start of the school year, Marjorie Abarca, a resident of La Angelina de San Nicolás de Ochomogo, in Cartago.
Her daughter, Mariana, is in her fourth year at the Liceo San Nicolás de Tarantino and her youngest son, Santiago, 10, is at the Jesús Jiménez school in Cartago.
She is a little afraid for them to return to the classrooms because of covid-19. The younger is asthmatic, has an attention deficit and a level of autism.
“No one wants to be infected, but neither can they be locked in a bubble because as a child and as a teenager they want to experience school, friendships and everything. My son Santiago worries me more because he is at high risk, but they do want to go back, they don’t want to be locked up anymore,” said Abarca.
The experience for this mother with only classes last year “was very complicated” since they did not have a computer or fixed Internet, so they had to struggle to fulfill the assigned tasks.
“Personally, it is a benefit in classroom returns because we do not have a computer or fixed Internet. Little by little I have managed to buy the supplies, we have all been thanking God; With the uniforms, we had to make an effort to buy some since last year’s were not very useful because they (the children) grew.
“Despite the uncertainty that all parents must have, we are also leaving everything to God’s hands so that this new school year will be very beneficial for all of us,” concluded the mother.
So it starts
This Monday the 2021 school year will start, which is characterized by:
- Some days in person, others remotely
- Use of a mask mandatory for everyone
- Full uniform will not be a requirement this year
- Parents can decide whether or not to send their children
- 80 educational centers must continue remotely due to health orders