Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hit a wall, but keep walking

I was disturbed to read an article in the local paper last night (see article here in Spanish:  http://www.elheraldo.hn/Secciones-Principales/Pais/Ocho-de-cada-10-no-terminan-educacion-basica)

The article talks about some of the failings in the public education system here after a study by the University of California at Berkeley:

1.  80% of rural youth do not get to the 9th grade.
2.  40% of rural youth that start first grade don't finish the 6th grade.
3.  Honduras has a traditional system where the student only copies and memorizes, but is not taught to analize or think. 

This is an area where something must be done.  And although the problem is much larger in the rural sector, things are not exactly peachy keen in the urban sector either...especially as it relates to the third point, and what that means to breaking out of a cycle of economic hardships. 

Alas, we are not in a position to address this issue much at all.  Thoughts of building a school, seeking scholarships for said school to make good education affordable, assisting rural schools we know with materials and advanced teaching....all good ideas that have occured to us, but they are not where God has us right now.  Five, ten or more years from now?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no. 

But for now we help just a few families where we can...and we pray.  We are not each commanded to do it all...but to pray to Him who does it all. 

And this is just one area where we see a need we are not able to meet.  There are more Churches to plant, other great strategic areas where a clinic/hospital would be great, different farming initiatives, construction....you get the idea. 

If we think of where we are today in working for the Kingdom versus just ten years ago, the advance has been huge.  Where will the mission be in 2023?  Not always where we thought or planned perhaps, but it would seem quite probable God will take it places we have yet to dream. 

1 comment:

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

Most rural villages here in western Honduras only have schools up to sixth grade. There may be the equivalent of middle schools in the municipalities and in a few larger villages. Thus it is reasonable to see that most rural students don't get past 6th grade. (A figure from a few years ago was that only 33% do go past 6th grade.)
High schools are found in big cities, but not even all municipalities have high schools. In the area where I work there is only one "instituto" for four municipalities.
There are some efforts to provide alternatives. One we have here is IHER (Instituto Hondureños de Educación por Radio), also known as Maestro en Casa (Teacher at home). This is a distance learning program where the students listen each night to radio programs, do work in a workbook, and then attend classes (taught mostly by volunteers) for a few hours on Saturday or Sunday.
In our area there are over 300 in the program and we hope - with the help of partial scholarships from a US sister parish we hope to add 100 - 150 more.
It's a small effort, but worth it.