MEET Petal Dos Santos-Adrian of Swan Village, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, whose willingness to serve her community propelled her into the noble teaching profession for the past two years at the Yarrowkabra Primary School.
The mother of four told the Pepperpot Magazine that she is a first-year student of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), and it is a bit challenging since it is online due to the pandemic.
She reported that her transportation woes will soon end because she was relocated to the new Swan Primary School, which is slated to be opened for the new school term in September.
Dos Santos-Adrian stated that the new school is just within walking distance from her home, which is ideal for her.
This resident of Swan Village is not wasting any time even when schools are closed, and she is supposed to be on vacation for the August holidays.
She is utilising her skills to coach children within the village in the Stem Guyana project which is held at the local church.
Dos Santos-Adrian explained that the summer programme, a Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports initiative, is a very engaging class for children in the village.
The teacher noted that the programme entails technology, games, robotics, coding and graphics, which is less academic, but the learners are quite taken with the interactive sessions.
She explained that snacks are provided for the learners, and there is usually a large turnout because they want to learn.
There are 24 learners enrolled in the Stem Guyana programme in Swan Village, which takes place on a weekday basis.
Dos Santos-Adrian told the Pepperpot Magazine that following the pandemic, after the children had been away from school for two years, it was challenging to engage them in a classroom setting at first.
She disclosed that they had to re-start teaching techniques from scratch to most pupils because, during the time they were at home, they did not do any worksheets, and it was evident they were not schooled at home.
The teacher added that the two-year lapse created a gap in the learning pattern, and they had to play catch up quickly, and that required a lot of patience.
“I will admit that it wasn’t an easy task getting the pupils to settle in a classroom again, and we really had to come together to re-school the children because some had forgotten common shapes, so it was back to basics,” she said.
She is a teacher of all subject areas at the primary level and is very versed in the academic needs of the learners, and lends support to slow learners.
Dos Santos-Adrian is from a home with two other teachers in the family, and it is a job she is very passionate about.
Forida Alexander, the homemaker
Meanwhile, in the home is Forida Alexander, a homemaker and a small business owner who vend cold beverages from her home.
The 43-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that she has been residing in Swan for the past nine years, having moved from her home village of Morakobai, Region Five.
Alexander explained that following the death of her mother, she left Morakobai and settled at Friendship, East Bank Demerara, because she wanted her children to benefit from education and schools nearby.
The mother of six added that after her children grew, she relocated to Swan Village and settled and is living in an extended family setting with four grandchildren.
She stated that about two years ago, the community began developing, and they benefitted from electricity and potable water.
Alexander reported that they have seen an improvement in life and are hoping for future community-based development to enhance their lives.
“There is a need for roads in this village because we don’t have a proper path to get in or out this community, and when it rains, it is difficult to get around due to the sandy conditions,” she said.
She told the Pepperpot Magazine that she is looking forward to the upcoming heritage celebration in the village, which will take place at the community centre ground on August 18.
Alexander stated that it is a time to showcase their talent, foods, arts, craft and beverages.
She added the event is being held this year after three years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Alexander used to rear some chickens but isn’t at present and is hoping to re-start that small business.