2021 was another year full of challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the Guatemalan government stated in January that the new school year would start with a hybrid model, the majority of the public and private schools didn’t implement face-to-face classes due to the high number of infections and the weak infrastructure and lack of resources available. With schools being shut down throughout the year, teachers and directors had to reinvent teaching, exploring suitable alternatives to ensure successful learning. Many students, especially from the rural areas fell severely behind in their learnings.
Many CasaSito scholars mentioned having experienced extreme physical and mental fatigue. The majority of our scholars have a smart phone of basic quality that they often share with their siblings. Due to the poor quality of the phones and bad internet signal, combined with a low resolution and poor sound quality, it’s often difficult for them to follow online classes and applications often do not load properly. As a consequence, our scholars experienced feelings of demotivation, anxiety, stress, and depression. In order to improve the outcomes of their learning process and overcome feelings of digital fatigue, CasaSito offered psychological support, organized an online workshop that focused on digital resources and the correct use of digital tools and technology, and enrichment classes that focused on the development of personal and professional life skills and capacities.
Data packages have been provided to all scholars on a monthly basis throughout the year, in order to make sure they have internet access during their online classes. In addition, headphones have been purchased for our scholars that will help them to reduce problems of noise and distractions while studying at home and help them to better concentrate during online classes. In both CasaSito offices in Sacatepequez and Alta Verapaz area, a library has been set up where laptops will be available for research and homework of our scholars as soon as the offices can open again.
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