For years, the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) has helped Guatemalan communities—which exhibit some of the most extreme combinations of systemic poverty, illiteracy, and inequality in the western hemisphere—transform their quality of education through four core educational programs. And those programs continue to help in 2020, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early March, Guatemalan schools closed to keep their students safe during the pandemic. With many students lacking access to the internet, Guatemala’s Ministry of Education struggled—even more so than our own school systems—to reach kids with education during stay-at-home orders.
Luckily, 26,800 students in 207 schools still have access to high-quality GLP textbooks that allow them to continue studying subjects like math, science, Spanish language, and social studies from home!
The GLP’s former Textbook Program Coordinator Mario Yac, who now works for the Ministry of Education, took to Facebook to congratulate and thank the GLP for the Textbook Program.
“It’s the perfect resource to train students without much income who seek to learn and overcome obstacles to have better opportunities in life. I say this because inside the country of Guatemala, there are families without electricity and, therefore, don’t have access to the good efforts that the Ministry of Education is implementing by facilitating classes on TV. Although the most needy are excluded from the TV classes, they have the blessing of participating in the GLP Textbook Program. When they study with the textbooks, they automatically receive training based on the national curriculum. Students are able to consult the textbooks every day at home and this is an example of the sustainability of the Textbook Program in the most vulnerable parts of our society.”
Teacher after teacher replied to Mario’s post, affirming the positive impact the GLP’s Textbook Program is having on their students during this time.
Jacob Pascual Ajtzalam Ajù, a Textbook Program teacher, commented, “We are a new school in the GLP Textbook Program and we are very blessed because our students are able to self-train from home with the textbooks, even though they are unable to attend classes.”
Textbook Program teachers like Jacob also had the opportunity to participate in an online training session. Approximately 500 dedicated teachers and principals from Textbook Program schools joined the training via Zoom in late May!
The training session allowed the teachers and school administrators to learn how to use an online portal that provides a host of additional educational resources associated with the textbooks for each grade and for each subject matter, improving their teaching methods and allowing them to be the best they can be for their students during this difficult time.
Thanks to your support over the years, we’ve built a strong network of educational resources that is leading the way in helping students continue their education during these challenging times, especially through the use of textbooks. Rest assured that even now, your support of the GLP remains a valuable and much-needed way to give back to our global community—to reassure our Guatemalan brothers and sisters that we’re all in this together.