There in the municipality of Pedro Betancourt, in the cooking classes of the Home Education Teaching Workshop of the Jesús Menéndez Special School, it is where the student Caleb Samuel Guerra tests his skills for the future.
He is helped by the teacher Irma, with 35 years of experience. “After perceiving the progress in those students who arrive with so many learning difficulties, a great satisfaction is experienced. And those results are nothing more than the fruits of our dedication ”, confesses the teacher Irma González Troya.
And it is that teaching in a school of this type, while constituting a challenge for educators, offers them the gratitude and excessive affection of those who never forget the treasure of knowledge deposited with so much patience in their hands.
MY SCHOOL, MY HOME
With an enrollment of 64 students, the school is located in the El Cuba Popular Council and includes three annexed classrooms in the towns of Pedroso and Bolondrón.
Based on the corresponding curricular adjustments according to the needs of the students, whose diagnosis of intellectual disability may be mild, moderate or aggravated, the special school follows the same educational system as primary education.
Rebeca Díaz León, head of Preschool and Special Education in the municipal Education Directorate, explains that the center has full-time psychopedagogues to help pioneers develop or compensate psychic thought processes such as abstraction, generalization, attention, thought, memory and imagination.
Likewise, two other workshops are given, the one on Clothing and the one on Basic Agricultural Techniques, which, from the age of twelve, prepare them for independent adult life.
«In addition to the classes, the children receive speech therapy and psycho-pedagogical treatments, since intellectual disability is almost always associated with a language delay or dyslalia, simple or complex,» explains speech therapist Nieves Hernández Morales. «I started working here 26 years ago, first as a teacher, and it fills me with satisfaction to see the students who have passed through here and to think how much I have been able to contribute to their development,» she adds.
IN TIMES OF COVID
But together with the educational teaching process, this course the students and workers of the center enjoy a more attractive and comfortable space, thanks to the constructive actions carried out to guarantee the successful start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The Home Education workshop prepares students for independent adult life. “The work included the roofing of the kitchen-dining room area, the rehabilitation of the hydro-sanitary networks, the installation of a turbine, two tanks raised to guarantee water 24 hours a day and the replacement of the carpentry of a teaching block, in addition to the beautification and painting of the center ”, highlights its director Justo Rafael Pita Suárez.
The autofocal and daily screening, as well as the disinfection of hands and surfaces, change of the nasobuco and social distancing, are some of the measures that these students also incorporate into their routines.
“We also carry out the dissemination, because the school also has to influence the family. The role of teachers is fundamental so that such sanitary procedures also reach the homes ”, says the director. But, in the effort to comply, like the rest of the educational institutions with each ministerial orientation in the face of the pandemic, the school also promotes the use of previously idle areas. In a space of 0.40 hectares, the organoponic already multiplies the fruits of collective labor.
Thirteen students contribute to their care through one of these workshops, where they obtain beans, plantains, okra, garlic and other products for their own consumption. After touring the organoponic, the domestic workshop, the Physical and Artistic Education classroom, the rooms and each area of this institution, the daily effort is remarkable.
And it is that at the Jesús Menéndez Special School, workers and parents strive to give their little ones the joy of learning.