In the company of a representative from the Ministry of Education, Change for Children’s team travels to remote communities in Nicaragua’s Bosawas Biosphere Reserve only accessible by river travel, 8-10 hours from the nearest town with road connections, Isolation, lack of resources, poor health conditions, child malnutrition and child labor exacerbate the lack of access to education.
The Bosawas has the lowest literacy rates in Nicaragua – especially among women and girls. Most teachers here have only attained high-school levels of education themselves, and very few have post-secondary pedagogical training. Many teachers work voluntarily since government budgets do not cover the full need for teachers in the region. Bosawas schools have extremely limited educational resources, equipment, and facilities.
In partnership with generous donors, Change for Children has constructed six secondary schools in the Bosawas. As we continue to address classroom construction needs, we are also concentrating efforts to improve the quality of education received in the classrooms.
We are here to test the feasibility of implementing a technology-enabled, innovative, off-line training program in one of Central America’s most remote and impoverished regions — to assess its potential to increase teacher capacity, gender equality, and student learning outcomes.
Through a series of workshops with teachers and students, the technology and the RACHEL are introduced. Introducing a new educational tool, especially one as novel as smart technology, will be a challenge, but the potential to connect offline learners to the World’s knowledge is not lost on the teachers who are eager themselves to expand their own education. They stay connected to the RACHEL long after the session has finished.