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Bolivian Amazon School
Bolivian Amazon School
By Val | Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Today I am going to share about what school looks like in the Bolivian Amazon. When I am told that a learner attended school for a few years, I now have a clearer picture of what that school might have looked like.
In terms of school supplies and physical space, the school in rural Bolivia where I lived for a month was very different than schools here in Canada. The school in San Miguel consisted of four small buildings, each one being a classroom. There was no electricity (actually there was no electricity in the entire community) and no running water. Each classroom had a chalkboard and desks. There didn't seem to be much more.
The photo above is the primary classroom. It had two tables, a few chairs, a chalk board and some chalk. When I visited the classroom, the teacher was reading these wee little kids a chapter book which had only one picture every chapter. It was the only school book I saw in the entire time I was there. School supplies seemed limited to chalk and a board, but everyone seemed quite happy.
The oldest school kids were about 12 years old, maybe 13. I was told that to continue education beyond this age, you had to move to the town, a 40 minutes boat ride away (not very many people have boats). So most kids finish school at age 12 as it is too hard on the kids to be away from family for days on end and too expensive for parents to pay for accommodation costs.
I had a chance to chat with the teacher of the grade 3 and 4 children. I asked what he used for books because I saw none. He said that he simply asked the children to tell a story when he needed a story. There were no science texts, no readers, no math books. Math questions were written on the board (hey, when I went to school, math was written on the board too).
Here is the grade 3-4 classroom. Maps of Bolivia and South America are painted onto the walls and school work has been hung on another wall. Indeed, it was an eye opener to see how a school operates in rural Bolivia. It makes me wonder what school might have looked like for some of our learners.
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