At first the government said the educational lockdown due to coronavirus would be for two weeks, then it was extended to Easter, and now they have announced it will go on until the end of the year. This means that institutions have been slow in organising themselves for online classes, and they are only getting under way now.
It is not easy, when the only device most students have is a poor quality smartphone, with unreliable internet signal and little or no money for phone credit. Most online classes in Santa María have to be given by WhatsApp, which everyone has, and that is quite challenging. Google Classroom is also being used for English classes, for those pupils who can access it, and one-to-one online harp classes are about to begin by Zoom or WhatsApp, whatever the students have.
At the Institute on 4 May, some exams for small groups were held under strict conditions of social distancing and face masks. On the following day, food technology students were called to collect “two-weeks worth” of photocopies so they can study at home. You see the new first-years lining up here, spaced out and in their face masks, much like people in Europe do to go into supermarkets.