Thursday, January 26, 2012

First week of new administration

We have been disappointed so far with basic things here such as the govt. has not authorized new teachers.
There are about 50 schools in the Solola district that do not have new teachers assigned because the new govt. has come in and these things have not been authorized yet.   It is not to say that they are not going to do it ....just that they have not done it yet.  School started nearly 2 weeks ago.......we have had this problem in Tierra Linda. The last govt. guaranteed to send us teachers for the Junior High school if we provided the equipment, tables, chairs, books, white boards, computers, everything...we have done that ..thanks to the Upper Arlington Rotary Club ( Ohio) and no teacher came. This is because they do not have the new people in place who are able to authorize this. 
This left us in a very difficult situation.
After many, many calls and letters to the Dept. of Education they finally told us that they did not have the funds to pay for the teacher and had to wait for the new. administrator to take over.
No one can give us a time frame.
So we had a choice.....hire a teacher ourselves..which we were given advice by people with a lot of experience...would mean that the Dept. of Education would not send us a teacher because we had already provided one..... or if we did not send a teacher the children would have to leave the  school and try to get into a school that did have teachers...which meant that the Dept. of Education would not send us teachers because we did not have enough children to meet the quota of students needed to keep the classes going.
So in the end we decided to send one of the Mayan Families staff members there, Rodolfo, who is a qualified Jnr. High teacher to help out until the govt. sends us a teacher.
But because it is also a computer school..we also have to send a computer teacher twice a week, so fortunately , we have two staff members who have their degree in Computer science and they are able to go and teach the required curriculum.    But that leaves us shorthanded one staff member daily and another staff member 2 - 3 times a week.
Marco, another Mayan Families staff member  is also teaching computer classes twice a week in San Jorge at our Women's /Education center.  The Jnr. high school committee came to us yesterday from San Jorge as they are in a similar situation.  They are not able to receive funds from the Education dept. and have had to privatize the Jnr. High school to be able to keep it open.  This means that they are now scrambling for funds to try and pay the teachers wages.   They need $12,000 US to be able to pay the teachers wages for one year.  There are 7 teachers.
We have also received a request for help from the local hospital in Solola.
They have also not received funds and are in dire need of medicines.
They have asked us to help with funds to either buy the meds or have the meds donated.
They need basics like disposable gloves and other meds.
But we hope this is just problems with getting organized and that this new govt. will come through.
We have definitely noticed an increase in soldiers which is a throwback to the old days....but I am hoping that this is also just a precaution as the govt. changed over.

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