While in Walakitang, we inaugurate the new five-classroom secondary school, in which we held the dental clinic. Prior to secondary school construction here, children had to travel outside the Bosawas (to Wiwili or Managua) to continue their schooling beyond grade 6. This is an expensive proposition that very few families could afford. A secondary school will address abysmal literacy rates and provide the populations here with their own educated members who can make informed decisions for the future of their people and their forest.
But, the new school does not leave the community without challenges. Instead of snow days, it seems that in Walakitang they have rain days. When the stream floods, students and teachers living on the other side cannot attend.
And while I can report that the students are eager, the classrooms are spacious and the teachers are lined up, I would love to also be able to say that the desks and chairs will soon be filled with secondary students who no longer have to leave their families to attend high school or be denied education beyond sixth grade. However, as it sits today, there are no desks. Or chairs.
School starts next week.