COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on public education in Ecuador, especially for children & teens with special learning needs. Classes have been online since 03/2020, but students will gradually begin returning to the classroom in 02/2021. The Ayni Ecuador Foundation is partnering with the only special needs school in Otavalo to bring vital infrastructure, hygiene supplies and training necessary to successfully and safely integrate these special students into this blended learning structure.
The La Joya special needs school in Otavalo is not yet equipped to successfully return to the classroom: 1) There is very limited water the bathrooms, thus creating a big hygiene risk. 2) The school requires gel dispensers to comply with COVID regulations. 3) COVID has prompted months of online learning, soon moving to a blended structure. The school has 7 new teachers with very limited special needs experience, and all need ongoing blended-learning training, both with IT and in-person delivery.
This project helps protect children & teens with special needs as well as their teachers and family by facilitating the installation of an above-ground potable water system to allow basic bathroom hygiene. We'll also install disinfectant gel dispensers in each classroom and in common areas. Finally, we'll conduct biweekly faculty training sessions aimed at developing effective techniques and improving course delivery methods to reach this special needs population in these unusual circumstances.
The water system will permanently provide the school with the most basic of hygiene requirements, namely clean running water in the bathrooms. Gel dispensers add continuous protection against spreading germs in the classroom. The training sessions will equip teachers with valuable insight into their particular students' learning needs along with strategies to meet those needs in a blended in-person/online setting. The techniques and methodology can be applied to current and post-COVID contexts.
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