Reading in Nicaragua

It’s hard to imagine what my job will be like when I get down to Nicaragua. I have a job description, but since it’s a new project there’s a lot thats unknown. What I do know is that there will be challenges that I’ve never thought of, plus solutions that I could have never dreamed possible.

I have a lot to learn about the education system in Nicaragua. I’ve learned a lot about the education system in the U.S. and how closely tied it is to politics, and of course this is how it also is in Nicaragua. There is an interesting article in English on the online magazine, Envío, that touches on the challenges of the education system in Nicaragua – much of which is tied to politics and culture. The part that really struck me as it relates to what I’ll be doing down there was this quote commenting on how to improve the quality of education:

Quality means learning to read, but not only to recognize letters and put them together. Reading is more than that: it’s understanding what we read, inferring the subtext, interpreting, drawing conclusions… We need to form reading students. It’s not enough to know how to read; you have to keep on reading in order to keep on learning, to educate yourself, to experience the pleasure of reading. Reading must be at the center of what education is about. Reading as a tool for growing, dreaming, transforming ourselves, transforming reality, or as Paulo Freire said, being able to decide on their “own word.”

Beth, a fellow MCC’er in Mangua right now has a blog post where she summarizes the above article and shares what MCC partner organizations are doing in response to these challenges.

We are starting to collect books in SPANISH to send down to Nicaragua. If you’re interested, please check out these lists for children’s and young adult books for ideas.

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