Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Internship Name: PRONEP

Location: San Jeronimo, Cusco (15 minutes bus ride from ProPeru office)

Internship Counterpart: Samuel Nuñez Valencia

Programa No Escolarizado de Primaria de Menores (PRONEP) is a primary school, grades first through sixth, which provides schooling for children that otherwise would not be able to attend school. The children that attend PRONEP are extremely poor, and many lack the appropriate documents or resources needed to attend a regular school.

Most of the children work in the mornings, either selling things in the local produce market or working as domestic employees, or in various labouring jobs. Many come from the provinces, and rural areas that surround Cusco, and do not live with their families or have proper homes. If not for the opportunity afforded them by PRONEP, many of these children would not be receiving any form of education.

While the school does operate on government funds, it receives less money than a traditional school receives. The school operates without a formal director or support staff and is collectively run by the school’s four teachers. PRONEP operates in the afternoons when the children are not working. They rent out classroom space from a more traditional school, which operates only in the morning. The school has only the most basic of facilities at the moment, lacking electricity and any sort of technology such as computers or lab equipment.

The primary counterpart contact for volunteers placed with PRONEP is one of the teachers, Profesor Samuel Nuñez Valencia. All the teachers at the school are extremely dedicated to their students and welcome the help of a volunteer. The volunteer’s time will be usually be split between second grade classes and Samuel’s third/ fourth grade classroom.

They are hoping a volunteer will assist them in their daily classroom work, as well as offering ideas on teaching methodology and lesson plans. While past volunteers have primarily taught English, Math and art classes, the teachers at PRONEP have expressed an interest in volunteers teaching computer classes (the children would have to be brought to an internet café), as well as handicrafts and carpentry (if the volunteer is skilled in these areas).

This internship placement is perfect for volunteers who want to have a hands-on teaching experience. Volunteers will be preparing lessons, and teaching classes on their own at times, and so independent minded volunteers with at least an intermediate level of Spanish will be best suited to the placement. Working at PRONEP is a very rewarding experience, teaching children who would otherwise have had no formal education.