Task-Tarea strongly believe that investing in education is the best long-term strategy to battle poverty in Guatemala.
The statistics below support this focus and further demonstrate why we have chosen to focus on rural Maya girls in Solola
AGRICULTURE & CHILD LABOR
YEARS IN SCHOOL
CLEAN WATER AT SCHOOL
FOOD AT SCHOOL
Even when water is available, the schools have very limited funding for food. Many parents rely on the schools to feed their children; yet in 2018, each school in Solola was given 40 cents per student per day to provide breakfast.
It is not much money, but in the poor rural areas, it has impact. The availability of food at schools is a key motivator for families to enroll their children in a school. For this reason, this year, Task-Tarea is seeking ways to improve or enhance the food offerings at our partner schools.
Undernourished children are common in Guatemala, and even more common amongst the rural Maya population of Solola where Task-Tarea is located..
According to USAID:
“Guatemala has the fourth-highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, approximately 50 percent of Guatemalan children under five years of age are stunted due to chronic food insecurity. Within indigenous areas, nearly 70 percent of the population is chronically malnourished.”
TECHNOLOGY AT SCHOOL
Task-Tarea believes that small investments in technology can have a huge return on education quality, and the foundation of the information age technologies is Internet access.
None of our three partner schools received or allocated funds for Internet access, despite having small computer labs; until Task-Tarea began providing Internet funding in 2015.
MOBILE PHONES AS A RESOURCE
- the number of operational desks and chairs
- the age and number of text books
- the number of books in the school library
- annual school supply budgets
- water quality measurements
IMPACT & RESULTS
Since its founding in 1995, over 1,000 girls have benefitted from the Task-Tarea scholarship program. These girls will retain their scholarship each year that they continue onward with their schooling, thus encouraging progress up to middle school and high school levels. When accounting for multi-year scholarships, the total number of annual scholarships awarded since inception has been over 3,000.
Percentage enrollment of girls has increased. As recently as six years ago, our schools saw just over 40% proportion of girls in schools. Today, we have achieved primary school enrollment parity between boys and girls with one school actually enrolling more girls than boys.
That same success is not yet fully realized beyond sixth grade, where we see a drop off of students continuing their studies, but especially of girls. The challenge for the next decade will be to convince our scholars to stay in school past elementary school.
All Task-Tarea supported schools have been connected to the Internet since 2014. The connection provides the foundation for online learning, exchange of education material, and live collaboration.
The Global Classroom program has been in effect for 3 years. During that time frame, we have held 25 video conferences between elementary school classrooms in the United States and Guatemala. The conferences have allowed for joint teaching sessions, cultural interchanges, and joint science projects.
Two dozen testimonials from a random sample of past Task-Tarea scholars have indicated that the young women are waiting longer to get married, establishing careers, and having fewer children. A more thorough assessment is needed to better quantify this impact.
Over the past 7 years, Maya girls receiving a Task-Tarea scholarship have continued to middle school about 80% of the girls and to high school (baccalaureate) about 72% of the girls. These numbers are far above the averages for rural Maya schools.