The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Mexico celebrated World Teachers Day by delivering televisions, smartphones, electronic tablets, and computing devices to teachers and students. The aim is to prevent school dropouts during the pandemic by making it easier to teach and learn online.
The delivery of the first 4,500 devices on October 5th took place simultaneously across the country. It was directed by the general secretary of the SNTE, Alfonso Cepeda Salas, at the primary school "Niños Héroes" in the town hall of Cuajimalpa. The SNTE itself contributed around 1,500 screens.
Stay home, stay in class
The devices were collected in the second phase of the union's innovative “Stay at Home, Stay in Class” campaign to facilitate home learning during the pandemic.
SNTE has reiterated its call on education workers, business people and society in general to continue donating equipment to the education sector. These will help maintain the Learn at Home II program, which is vital as many students in peripheral areas do not have the resources to continue their classes.
Another delivery is planned in the next few weeks "to provide this support to remote communities, poor families and families in need". This ensures that class is not interrupted and that the Stay Home, Stay in Class program continues. "
Since the interruption of face-to-face classes on March 20, the SNTE has encouraged and supported teachers to maintain communication with parents and students in the manner available to them. This should ensure that students absorb the knowledge and stay with the class despite the difficulties, said Cepeda Salas.
On World Teachers Day, Cepeda Salas emphasized: “We honor male and female teachers for who they are and what they do every day so that each of their students can shape their future. What could be nicer than protecting the right to public education, one of our two founding causes. "
Francisco Hernández Gómez, a sixth year student, thanked SNTE and its leaders for running this campaign on behalf of the students who received equipment. The new devices will allow students like him to continue their studies, he said.
"It is a special day for my family, we will benefit from it because we do not have a TV at home and (now) I can watch my classes," said Hernández Gómez. “I promise to keep learning and get good grades. I love coming to school and I really enjoy learning. I am also sad about the COVID-19 pandemic, hopefully it will pass soon. "
Education International global event
On October 5th, SNTE also participated in Education International's global online event to celebrate teacher achievement on World Teacher Day. The SNTE showed videos showing its measures to support teachers, students and parents with distance learning and learning while schools remained closed to avoid contagion.
SNTE leaders from across Mexico, led by Cepeda Salas, also held a working meeting to assess recent advances in work, benefits and social security. They also looked at the demands of union members in the face of the "new normal" during the pandemic.