The Polytechnic School Ramiro
EPP Ramiro initiated activities in 2013 to meet the needs of a growing population in this district of Luanda. It was established thanks to a partnership with the Angolan oil company ACREP, the Ministry of Education at national and provincial levels and ADPP. 73 students completed their courses at the end of 2019 and will graduate in 2020, bringing the total number of graduates from EPP Ramiro to 361, 153 of whom females.
EPP Ramiro is one of the three ADPP polytechnic schools in Luanda province. It serves the areas of Catebo, Km30, Palmerinhas, Ramiros itself and Mundial. The school teaches 7th, 8th and 9th Grade, following the national curriculum, with the option in 8th and 9th Grade of one of the three courses on offer: Food Producer, Water Assistant and Energy Assistant. Since the launch of the EPP programme here in 2013, the school has continued to grow in terms of student numbers, teaching and extracurricular activities.
When the state of emergency was declared and the students had to stay at home, EPP Ramiro teachers organised distance learning. They worked in their trios according to the grade and the class they were teaching and kept in touch with their students – and the parents – by telephone as well as through the WhatsApp group created by the school. Study tasks were posted or sent once a week, after which the students worked on them in their exercise books. Once a week, the parent would leave the exercise books of their children at the school and the following day the teachers would correct them. The collaboration of the parents was key, and the school kept in touch with them by telephone on a regular basis, not only to learn about the progress of their sons and daughters as they resolved study tasks but also to ask about their health and if they were following safety measures. In addition to study tasks, the students received assignments related to the Covid-19 pandemic whereby they mobilised their own families and immediate neighbours on measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The school itself played its part by distributing leaflets about Covid-19 that they received from Ramiros Hospital. Preparations for the return of the students included measures for social distancing in the classrooms, hygiene and biosafety. 7th Grade will be the first to return. After a week of introductions and explanations about the “new normal,” the remaining students will restart their studies at the school. Plans were also made for the students to catch up on their studies, courses and practical experiences and for the possibility of a return to distance learning in the event of a new outbreak of Covid-19. Throughout the state of emergency and subsequent state of calamity, the school maintained contact with the Ministry of Health and with Belas Municipal Education Department.