Well, as it’s already known all over the world, Mozambique belongs to the group of developing countries. This means that some areas such as agriculture, health, education among several other public and private sectors lack the equipment that could make the country develop rapidly. This is a sad reality and due to all of this, education wouldn’t escape to be negatively affected by this global pandemic. For sure, all retreat started right away at the outbreak of this COVID 19 late March this year. Due to lack of equipment in the area of health, the government of Mozambique decided to close almost all public institutions that would be of great risk of contamination in a short period of time. Other institutions adopted a regime of shifts to avoid big gatherings and crowds. One of the measures adopted was social distancing.
At the start of this period of emergency, we, teachers designed hand-outs and sets of exercises for students who did not have mobiles. Students got this material at stationary shops. Those who had a phone got the reading materials through WhatsApp, and though we believed it was not appropriate, it worked for a time. Yet, this was just an alternative to let the students at least do something while at home rather than fold their arms and keep relaxing. This was a recommendation from the Ministry of Education and as the students had not experienced this learning method before, it always created embarrassment and panic on the part of some students. Well, time passed by and students started to adapt up to a certain extent.
Our classes are usually quite big, we have about 65 students in each classroom, mainly due to the reduced number of rooms. At Our secondary school we teach from grade 8 to 12. At the moment, the school is open only for grade 12 because they have exams. The other grades will start coming back too but at different times so as to avoid contact.
The truth is that it has been too difficult to adapt to this new scenario but little could we do since it was an order from the government. Most students come from poor families and don’t have conditions to buy compatible mobiles. So, how can they afford this type of learning process? Sad and hard but this is the truth.