As mentioned in our January update, we will be focusing on a student a month until the school year ends. This month we focus our attention on Jonathan (not his real name) who was a Liga MAC supported Grade 10 student in early 2020 when the pandemic struck. His academic credentials were impeccable but after in-school classes were canceled, Jonathan slipped from Liga MAC’s radar.
Finally after repeated attempts at contact, Liga MAC received Jonathan’s transcripts. His marks had plummeted. Elva, Liga MAC’s Executive Director, and her team reached out to Jonathan. Why had Jonathan’s grades slipped to the point where he would not be eligible for Liga MAC support? The answer lay in the internet.
But first a little background information. Jonathan, his mother, and sister live in a rough neighborhood near the airport. His mother, a responsible and committed sole breadwinner, had until the pandemic been cleaning houses and selling cooked meals to support the family. Jonathan also cooks and cleans for the family when his mother is working.
When classes moved online, Jonathan had no computer and no internet access. He relied on the use of a friend’s laptop and internet access, and the friend’s help to remit the homework. Needless to say, the homework was seldom remitted. With the threat of suspension from the Liga MAC program looming, Elva’s team decided to give Jonathan a second chance. They lined him up with cell phone data so that he could remit his own homework.
By the end of the term, Jonathan’s marks had greatly improved. Jonathan started Grade 11 in September, 2020 and was amongst the 72 Liga MAC students to receive a loaned laptop and dedicated internet access.
A relieved and grateful Jonathan taped a video for his laptop benefactors that began with, “Thank you for believing in me!” His plans for the future include university in either Business Management or Tourism and to stay in Los Cabos to help his mother and sister.
In Jonathan’s case a laptop and internet access, both supplied by Liga MAC thanks to the support of our generous donors, were enough to point him back in the right direction. We are learning much about the effects on our students of online learning. School is more than books and learning or even laptops and internet access.
There are social aspects that feed into the emotional wellbeing of our students as well as domestic, financial, and motivational aspects that can impede learning. In the coming months we will highlight more students who are facing challenges and how Liga MAC proposes to help students conquer those obstacles to learning.