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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

School in the forests

Today was the last day of formal sharing sessions. The focus for our last day was on popular education. Vilma started this session off by continuing a story she had started earlier on schooling during the war.
Between 1980 and 1986, the people who remained in this area hid in the forests to avoid the army patrols. These people had very little and they had to be ready to flee at a moments notice.
Vilma became a teacher at 12. Her future husband started teaching at 11. There were 25 kids to teach from all grades. The objective was to ensure that all kids could read and write.
Children used sharp sticks to write with and flat stones to sit on. They learned the significance if words like guerra.
The kids were well behaved. To make too much noise would attract army patrols. The parents helped by digging trenches the students could drop into when the planes came.
To illustrate the school in the forests, the Salvadoran teachers did an incredible thing. They did a role play of a class in the woods including a mock attack by the army. They used fire crackers to mimic the sound if bullets. Their drawings were pictures of helicopters shooting people.
All these people were raised in similar schools. Their commitment to teaching and learning is profound.
A street mural in San Jose Las Flores
Sent from my iPhone

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