Yesterday, we reported on an initiative organized by a Belizean studying at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The initiative would be for other Harvard undergraduates to tutor Belizean students in this time when they cannot learn inside the classroom. Today, we spoke with the organizer, Angel Navidad, who explained more about the program.
Angel Navidad, Organizer: “Well so someone had been doing this at Harvard for American students and I thought that Belizeans sort of needed as well so I had the time so I said ‘why not’.
Reporter: So how do you go about recruiting the tutors?
Angel Navidad, Organizer: Well you email and message and call anyone you know and ask them to email, message and call anyone they know and so on so a lot of messaging and asking people and seeing whether they have time, who are available and stuff like that. I think most of them already have experience tutoring kids, it’s very popular in the US or at Harvard at least for them to tutor people, usually it’s paid and this time we’re asking them to teach a student for free. So the program, the concept itself we wanted to focus on English and Math because we think those are the core subjects that need to be focused on and the content basically we wanted to tailor it to the student’s needs and their circumstances because we know it’s really hard right now during the state of emergency and lock downs it’s hard on them it’s hard on the tutors as well so we don’t really know how rigorous we can make the program. Ideally we help them as much as possible to learn as much as possible in English and Math so they can be really well prepared for university of sixth form but we really don’t know how much we can do that right now so we have to wait and see where the students are and how much they can afford to learn and focus during this time. The program will look like basically tutorials called Oxford Tutorials where we ask students to write an essay or do a problem set or like math questions and stuff like that and we match them with a tutor and another student so there’s two students per session or per program and they’re going to stick with the other student so it’s like a mini class so they have someone else like another Belizean that they know and is like at their level so it’s not like a solitary thing it’s more like a three person thing where there’s one tutor and two Belizean students and they review each other’s work and the tutor views their work so the tutor can comment on it. So it’s mostly going to be work focused like the tutor won’t be coming in like a chalkboard and telling them it’s going to be like a lot of wiring and doing problem sets and the requirements mostly we just need them to have internet that they can use to make video calls, we’re probably going to use Zoom for this and they’re going to need a computer with a camera and microphone and just like a quiet space to study and call from.”
As it is, the program can accommodate 64 students. According to Navidad, they have so far received 50 applications.