Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Devoted teacher takes classes to students in Querétaro’s Sierra Gorda

The Querétaro Congress has recognized the tireless work of a primary school teacher who has continued to teach students in the state’s Sierra Gorda region during the coronavirus pandemic.

Salvador Olvera Marín, known affectionately as Maestro Chava, received a state government award last Thursday after his work teaching kids in Querétaro’s north caught the attention of officials.

With schools across the country closed due to the pandemic, Olvera, a teacher in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles, decided to install a chalkboard on the back of his pickup truck and take classes to students stuck at home without the means to study because they don’t have a television and/or a computer to access televised and online educational content.

“I didn’t expect this,” he told the newspaper El Universal, referring to the award.

“… This strengthens our work [as teachers]. It’s not about thinking that I achieved this or that or as goes the saying ‘become famous and then go to sleep.’ On the contrary, I think that more commitment is needed because there will be more eyes on our work. I’m not worried [about recognition], what interests me is that the students are making progress, improving in their learning,” Olvera said.

Maestro Chava on the road in Querétaro.
Maestro Chava on the road in Querétaro.

The teacher, a 38-year-veteran of the profession, said the parents of many children in the Sierra Gorda have low levels of education and as a result are not in a position to help their offspring with their schoolwork.

He said that if students were left to their own devices during the pandemic without the means to study, their education would stagnate.

“They need accompaniment [in their education]. It’s good to teach them how to learn to learn but not in such a drastic way as now with the health emergency,” Olvera said. “… It’s good to teach them to be autodidacts but not like this [without classes].”

Querétaro Education Minister José Carlos Arredondo Vázquez described the work of Olvera and that of another teacher whose commitment to education amid the pandemic was recognized last Thursday as “heroic.”

“Education … is like a blank canvas. Every day and every moment … we have the possibility of creating a great work of art and … [that’s what] these two extraordinary teachers are doing,” he said.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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