By Rachel Peck, PWW Intern
Today is World Teacher Day, a day set aside to celebrate those who work so hard to ensure that many have an educated future. A teacher can make all the difference in someone’s life. They hold a powerful position in society, one that allows them to influence many lives. For some children, a dedicated teacher can be the difference between moving up a grade, or dropping out.
According to the Education Policy and Data Center, in 2011 about 50% of female students and less than 40% of male students gained an education beyond primary school in Honduras. In addition to this, 26% of Honduran women give birth before the age of 18, which is one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in Latin America and 46% of all Honduran women lack access to modern contraceptives, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
These numbers show a need for increased education, not just for the health and wellbeing of young children, but an adolescent pregnancy often means dropping out of school and joining the workforce, in order to afford a child.
Raquel Diaz, from Trojes, Honduras, is one of many teachers that have worked tirelessly to ensure children, boys and girls, will advance in school. Diaz attended one of Pure Water for the World’s(PWW) Honduras Teacher Workshops, last year. Through unconventional tools, Diaz taught menstrual hygiene, the challenges of puberty and safe sex to 5th and 6th graders in Trojes. In a survey conducted at the beginning of the workshop, the girls showed lack of knowledge about menstruation, often experiencing their first cycle without resources, education. After the conclusion of the workshop, Diaz and several other teachers, went on to form a pregnancy prevention program for 5th and 6th graders. This resulted in a 95% graduation rate from 6th to 7th grade. This year, Diaz will be named best teacher in her municipality, out of more than 500 teachers. Education is a human right for all and today is a day to celebrate the thousands of teachers, such as Raquel Diaz, who take on the responsibility of being a teacher.