The primary school consists of the grades 1 to 6.
A typical school day looks like this:
In the morning, between 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is the time for the major topics including mathematics, social and national sciences, Spanish, English and religion/ethics. The first ten minutes of the day are always dedicated to a special value such as respect, solidarity, identity, responsibility, punctuality, honesty or hygiene. It is important for Urpi Wasi to pay special attention to such topics as the children rarely learn it at home, because their families face existential problems every day.
In the afternoon, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., minor subjects are on the plan: Quechua, gymnastics, dance, music, manual work and drawing.
The curricula of mathematics, English, sports and manual work are adapted to curricula and teaching material from Switzerland. In addition, the teaching team is being trained in Urpi Wasi and supported every year by a teacher from Switzerland. Furthermore, there are regular trainings to selected topics like language teaching, individual support, integrative education and conflict resolution, non-violent-communication etc.
Quechua and English
Quechua is the local second official language in Peru. It is spoken by the majority in the Andean highlands around Cusco. The pupils of the primary school start learning Quechua in the first class. It is important for Urpi Wasi to teach the children Quechua, because it is their parents` and grandparents` native language. In order to enable them a better life in the city, many children are raised only in Spanish. Parents are not aware of what that means for the society in terms of a cultural loss.
For the future of the children, of course, English language plays an important role. English is taught starting in third grade and the lessons are arranged in a playful manner. With pride, the children greet visitors from abroad saying „What's your name?” and “How are you?”. Unfortunately, the subjects Quechua and English are not being taught in all national schools yet.
The enjoyment of reading
Daily, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., one of the classes visits the lovely decorated school library to read, analyze books, prepare presentations, or just to play a game. The library is supervised by a teacher. Working and learning with books is unfamiliar to most of the children. We have to remember that many parents are illiterate and that there is hardly any book to find in the children’s home. The primary school of Urpi Wasi pays special attention to awaken the enjoyment of reading and to familiarize the children with the use of books.
In order to improve the children’s chances in their career, educating them with computer lessons is a must-see. Each Saturday, the students of the fifth fifth and sixth grade visit computer courses in small groups. The aim is to strengthen their basic computer uses kills and give them self-confidence. Every supplementary skill helps them to become confident grown ups, to feel equal to others and so to be able later to compete on the job market. However, they also have a lot of fun there, every one usually enjoys the course. The participation is voluntary.