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← The post-pandemic school | Andrea Santiago | TEDxRiodelaPlataED

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Showing Revision 21 created 09/27/2020 by Sebastian Betti.

  1. One of my students, Alan,
    lives in a house in Villa Itati,
  2. with his mom, five brothers,
    her sister-in-law and his little nephew.
  3. When he is done helping in the house,
    he showers and goes out.
  4. He crosses three corridors
    of the neighborhood.
  5. He climbs a very steep mud slope
  6. and walks the last block to get to school.
  7. He is not going to learn with his mates,
  8. but to line up to get
    his family's daily meal.
  9. Due to the lockdown the place is closed.
  10. While waiting for the food at the door,
    he uses the free wifi
  11. to download the assignments
    his teachers sent him
  12. and send those he's already done.
  13. Today, he borrowed
    the family's only cell phone
  14. because they knew
    he would have an Internet connection.
  15. He gladly reads the messages
  16. in which teachers encourage him
    to continue studying.
  17. And, besides,
    we also answer his questions.
  18. It's not easy at all for him
    to study remotely
  19. but at least he has a space
    where to make his questions.
  20. With empty classrooms
    opportunities are moving away
  21. and the inequalities
  22. a lot of kids live
    since a long time ago deepen.
  23. And today they juggle to have access
    to their right to learn.
  24. Yes, it is true that families and teachers
  25. welcome schools in our homes
  26. and we gave them the shelter
    they needed to keep on working.
  27. But it's also true that
    it became more evident than ever
  28. the need to maintain
    and promote those bonds
  29. the school building used to enable.
  30. When we teachers meet at school
  31. to put together the bags with food
  32. the most important thing for us
    is to have news, to exchange news,
  33. of the kids from who
    we don't know anything lately.
  34. We're so alert that,
    while the bags are delivered,
  35. we go through the line
    looking for a relative
  36. or anyone else
    that can deliver some news.
  37. Because of the pandemic some kids
    went to live with another family
  38. when their parents, or grandparents
    are hospitalized, or isolated.
  39. If it used to be so hard
    that many of them
  40. keep their regular assistance
    in high school,
  41. now our biggest concern
    is that they don't give up,
  42. that they don't give up the school year.
  43. When the school got into the homes
    it turned everything upside down.
  44. Valen, for example,
    is sick of all that video calls,
  45. of this much homework
    sent by his teachers,
  46. so much, that he asked his mom
    "make the school go out of my home."
  47. Moms and dads had to change
    all our routines
  48. to engage even more
    with our kids' education.
  49. In my case, it was a good thing.
  50. My teenage son,
    who has attention deficit disorder,
  51. for the first time in his schooling
    is keeping up to date with his homework.
  52. And, just like Alan, he asks his doubts
    directly to his teachers.
  53. He learned how to use tools
    to read and write better.
  54. To him and many young people,
    to be forced to use technology
  55. helped them create an autonomy
    they didn't have.
  56. On the other side of the device
  57. my fellow teachers
    did what they could.
  58. Most of us take care of our families
  59. at the same time as
    we're working at home,
  60. with scarce resources,
  61. replying to the kids and families
    at any time of the day,
  62. planning permanently,
    correcting from screens.
  63. Daniel, for example,
    is an excellent teacher in the classroom.
  64. But he now feels excluded
    by the little grasp he has of technology
  65. and how quickly he had to catch up.
  66. At the other end, Alejandra
    spends her time trying apps,
  67. trying one and a thousand times
    even when this takes hours on end.
  68. And, also, like in any job,
  69. some choose to wash their hands
  70. and overload others with their work.
  71. That's how the school is today.
  72. Like a virtually dismantled machine.
  73. With all its parts on display.
  74. You can see all the imperfections.
  75. And an emergency operation
    we could perform with what we had.
  76. It's an old machine. Old and noble.
  77. But it's got a lot of wire-tied parts,
  78. from education reforms,
  79. coming from remote desks far away
    from the reality of each school.
  80. Schools that, in addition to educating,
  81. were entrusted with a lot
    of huge responsibilities.
  82. And, as if this were not enough,
    they were filled up with useless
  83. and tremendously bureaucratic tasks.
  84. Now we all have a unique opportunity,
  85. to put it back together
    to make it work much better.
  86. We have to give more prominence
    to kids and young people
  87. to take part and commit
    to their education.
  88. But also to avoid
    absurd discussions between adults,
  89. that would be easily solved
    with asking the kids.
  90. We need to keep families in this loop.
  91. They took over schooling
    in their homes
  92. and whose active participation
    is important not to lose
  93. for the school we will go back to.
  94. And, moreover, to call in universities,
    faculties, social institutions,
  95. from soup kitchen to social clubs,
  96. as part of the social fabric
    that collaborates
  97. and feeds back
    from what goes on at school.
  98. I don't know how
    this is going to look like.
  99. When we reassemble this machine
    with the pieces we had
  100. and the new tools we have.
  101. But I'm sure
    that in-person schooling
  102. has to take a super important role
  103. to build better bonds
  104. and not to be wasted
  105. in activities that today
    we've understood by force
  106. that can be done remotely,
    or are obsolete.
  107. If we go back to the same school,
    it means we didn't learn anything.
  108. We owe it to the children,
    to the teachers, to the families,
  109. who are making a huge effort
  110. to guarantee the right to education.
  111. A really quality education,
  112. that transforms every one of us
    from affection,
  113. as people we are and as citizens.
  114. We have a unique opportunity
    that's not going to be given again.
  115. Not even in a hundred years.
  116. The challenge is to live up to it
  117. and take charge of thinking and creating
  118. a better school, together.