Deep in the rainforest of Costa Rica, children are experiencing a rich learning experience.
TabLab operates near the town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, in the lowland rainforest region of Northern Costa Rica. This area of Costa Rica primarily serves students of families working in the agricultural fields of pineapple and banana plantations. Many schools serve children of migrant workers from Nicaragua, creating challenges in student turnover and learning. Internet access in this area is expensive and unreliable, though schools are working hard to create more reliable systems for student access. Through contact with energetic and dedicated school leaders, and preliminary approval from the Ministry of Education, TabLab is operating rural development education partnerships at five area schools – three elementary and two secondary.
Escuela La Lucha was the first TabLab pilot site, and they are now looking to launch blended learning as an approach to teaching challenges in multi-grade classrooms. Liceo El Paraiso was TabLab’s first secondary school, and they were the first to pilot blended learning in small intervention groups. In 2016, TabLab added elementary school Escuela Bajos Chilamate, elementary school Escuela San Gerardo, and secondary school Liceo Rural Pangol a to its growing list of Costa RIcan partners. TabLab is also partnering with the Costa Rican Ministry of Education to close the immense gap between the quality of education received by students in affluent urban areas and under-resourced rural areas like Sarapiqui. WIth these positive partnerships established, TabLab’s teacher trainers are excited to bring personalized learning to these local schools.