Teaching has continued in Peña Blanca, albeit on a lesser level due to the H1N1 flu scares which caused a two week hiatus imposed by the government last month. There have been no cases at the school or in the community and the children returned at the beginning of the month. It actually turned out well as I believe that at least the department of Solola would have shut down the schools anyways due to the heavy rains and cold temperatures. The students are due for another round of standardized testing coming up and the teachers are preparing them.
The Teacher Empowerment Plan has produced tangible effects in the first month and we are planning the allocation of more equipment including game and practice balls, nets, posts and cones. The teachers were also able to use some of this funding for their annual Indian Market. April is a festive month here as we are in Holy Week. All schools around the country will be shut until Monday the 13th of April. Upon return we will be beginning a new term, classroom content and the continuation of our Teacher Empowerment Plan.
Despite the break for school holidays stretching back to October 2008, the children continued to receive daily education,thanks to the project. Emphasis was on literacy and numeracy for the children who had fallen behind towards the end of 2008. With several days without national teachers over the coming months already planned for, the children should not miss a day's education in this educational year.
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