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Learing in the holidays  

8:45. The schoolbell is ringing and all the children run to their classrooms.

Today “spanish“ is on the timetable. For German students it is unimaginable to go to school during holidays. Here in Peru it is an opportunity to get out of poverty.

There are not enough teachers

„Yes, I like the holiday classes!“, says young Christian (6) humbly and looks into his book. „This is my book!“, Christian proudly explains and shows his drawing of a Chrismas tree and the “a“s and “i“s which he wrote properly.
At 8:45 the schoolbell is ringing and everbody is running to their classrooms. But there aren´t enoguh teachers for every class, so many classes are taught together. Christian, who will be starting school after the holidays, shares his classes with the students of the early second classes and also the children of the kindergarten. It is cold. The rooms are neither heated nor isolated. Outside it is raining softly.

The most important classes are Mathmatics, Spanish and English.

After speaking the Lord´s Prayer and singing a few songs, the lesson begins. Depending on the school grade of the children, they are writing lines, letters and syllables. A few classrooms further down the corridor the “Corazones para Perú” volunteer Olli is teaching English to the 5th and 6th graders. Together they are translating simple sentences from Spanish into English. The concentration of a few pupils has already decreased. But it is understandable. Who wants to learn during holidays?

Better chances for a good qualification and a secure job.

But this holiday project is necessary. “At home the children aren´t supported in any way. Not even through education games. By assinsting the summer school they have a better chance for a good qualification and a secure job“, Dr. Sandra Rondriguez, director of the NGO “Corazones para Perú“, answering the question why the holiday classes were founded in Chicon and Yanahuara five years ago. “If the children aren´t doing anything for school for two months, they forget everything!“ teacher Karina adds, “The children sometimes aren´t even able to write their names!“

Everything is a bit more easy-going.

The children have classes from 8:30 to 13:00 five times a week, “thus they will improve and next year they will get better grades. But it isn´t just learing by writing and reading as usual. Everything is a bit more relaxed. For example every Friday there is just sportsgames and playing opportunities. It is important that the children come back the next week. Although attending school is compulsory there aren´t any punishments if they don´t show up.“

Many parents forbid their children to go to school.

Karina has a 7-year-old daughter, but she isn´t here. “The rain!“, says Karina without any further explanations and continues eating. She doesn´t want her to get a cold, she adds later. But most of the children who don´t come to the classes have other reasons. Often the parents need help in the kitchen, on the field or by looking after the cattle. Often the parents haven´t gone to school more than the 6 years themselves and don´t understand the importance of education. For kids like those in Chicon and Yanahuara poverty and a lifelong work in the fields therefore is predestined.

Already in the kindergarten the children start to learn numbers and letters.

The fact that the children aren´t supported in any educational way at home shows how important it is that they go to the kindergarten and the holiday classes as well. There they start learning in two classes per day how to write numbers and letters, which most of them find difficult.

In the future there will be offered different classes as well.

Spanish, English and Mathematics are not the only important things in life. Next year there shall be offered other classes as well. For example music and dance. These will help strengthening the childrens´ selfconfidence and interest in culture, despite it being impossible to integrate it into school´s everyday life.

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