Education in times of pandemic
Micaela, a 13-year-old adolescent, lives in the village of Castillapata, in the department of Huancavelica. She’s in her third year of secondary school, however, since March 2020 with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, her classes got changed to distance learning. Micaela has connectivity issues, which is why the classes are only taught over the phone, and this way of studying makes it hard for her to understand the subject matter.
I wanted to study via Zoom or video calls, because my cousins study that way, but here we only study via (telephone) calls, some students don’t answer and or only one student connects and only two or three students study.
She’s also noticed that, because of these problems, some of her classmates stop attending the virtual classes to work instead.
… I don’t understand, it’s not like face-to-face classes, in the virtual classes you read and they send you the questions (on WhatsApp) and it’s not like in face-to-face classes, so, why not study one day on, one day off? (…)
For all of the above reasons, Micaela* would like her classes to be blended learning, with the possibility to attend on alternating days. This way, she and her friends can continue learning.
I want to return to classes because some of my classmates don’t understand virtual classes and stop attending class and start working.
Micaela* participated in the project “Improving the health of mothers and female adolescents” implemented by Save the Children with the support from LACT.
Through this initiative, she received an educational kit which included notebooks, pens, a pencil, an eraser, a box of colored pencils, alcohol, soap and the educational material “The future that I want”.
… I received the study kits which helped me study, the notebook I used as a pad to take notes on and I also made drawings in the notebook when my teacher asked me. I also participated in some meetings via Zoom, that’s where I understood more about how we should study (during the pandemic) and how to be in our house and communities.
Micaela* is aware of the importance of studying and having a life plan which can help her build a better future. That’s why her message to other adolescents is to continue studying despite inconvenient or difficult situations, including unwanted pregnancies:
(I’d tell them) not to get discouraged, because study comes first and we have to be something in the future, not to get discouraged because some adolescents already have children, but they can still study.
*The name has been changed according to our safeguarding policy.
About the intervention
The project “Improving the health of mothers and adolescents in the region of Huancavelica” was implemented by Save the Children in 8 villages across the region, with the support from the Latin American Children’s Trust (LACT).
By 2022, the intervention is planning to achieve the improvement of access and quality of health care for children, adolescent mothers, adolescents and young people, thus guaranteeing a healthy start to the lives of their children under the age of three, promoting the return to school of pregnant adolescents, and contributing to the prevention and reduction of adolescent pregnancies.
One of the main results of the intervention is the creation of the “life plan” which enables them to have short and long-term goals, recognizing their personal resources and the opportunities in their environment.
The project has adapted its implementation to the situation that the Huancavelica region is facing with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing actions so that children and adolescents are safe, and continue to study and build their life plans.