BMDMI News - Updates from Mount of Olives School

News from MOCS

by Darrel and Cathey Johnson

October 30, 2020

News from Mount of Olives Christian School

     Classes began February 3rd with an initial enrollment of 418 students, a new record high since 2019’s high of 406.
     In May, attendance began to drop due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On May 13th the decision was made to suspend classes and begin home-study. Study guides were distributed to students via What’s App and hard copies to those without cellphones. Assignments were brought to the school upon completion.
     August 31st saw classes begin anew at the school with girls coming Mondays and Tuesdays and guys coming Wednesdays and Thursdays. This was to keep the classes smaller (social distancing). Fridays, teachers helped those still studying at home.
     The third week of September saw classes normalize to a Monday through Friday schedule. Students were encouraged to wear masks, practice frequent hand washing, and, as much as possible, to practice social distancing. Students returned with 100% wearing masks but attendance dropped to around 350 students.
     To date, only one of the teachers has become sick with Covid-19. Praise the Lord she has recovered completely. It is estimated that 7 of the elementary students contacted the virus and 15 of the high school students.
     Over time, the student’s compliance with wearing masks has dropped to around 50% from the initial compliance of 100%. Any student who does not have a mask or cannot afford to buy one, has a mask provided by the school. One-hundred percent of the teachers continue to wear masks.
     The pandemic has also impacted the economics of the school because of the loss of monthly tuition from the 65 students who dropped out and some 43 fathers of students who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and who have not been able to pay. While the tuition was not high, approximately $10.00 per month, it paid the bills for the electricity and water and also provided some funds for maintenance expenses. Other parents have said that in the coming year they will have to move their students to the public school because of their reduced income and inability to pay the tuition.
     The students have celebrated several yearly events since returning to classes. These include Nicaragua Independence Day, Day of the Bible, and Día de La Raza. The latter is our equivalent of Columbus Day which many Latins do not recognize and instead celebrate their heritage and cultural diversity.
     High school graduation is tentatively planned for the 13 of December with the last day of classes being December 4th. Cathey has been doing devotions with the school staff for a month via Zoom. She has recently begun Bible classes with the students also via Zoom. She is in daily verbal communication with the School director, Doris Lopez, via What’s App.
Darrel and Cathey Johnson
Career Missionaries
BMDMI Nicaragua