With COVID-19 upending the world, school teachers face big challenges. Engaging with children behind a computer screen can be tricky; but it’s nearly impossible for teachers who serve communities where students either don’t have computers, or have limited internet access.
When the pandemic hit Mexico last year, elementary school teacher Nallely Flores was determined to overcome any obstacles that would prevent her from teaching, or her kids from learning.
In the municipality of Calvillo, Aguascalientes – where most students don’t have reliable computer equipment and internet connectivity is spotty – Flores would drive from house to house, bringing the classroom to her kids.
“When we found out about the great job this teacher was doing, in the community where one of our largest manufacturing facilities operates, we wanted to contribute,” said Armando Avila, vice president, Manufacturing, Nissan Mexicana. “We determined the best way was by providing Ms. Flores with a new Nissan NP300 pickup, tailored as a mobile classroom.”
Compared to her previous vehicle, where Flores taught in the truck’s bed with a small table and chairs, this special Nissan NP300 is more like a mobile classroom. In the truck bed, which is accessible via retractable stairs, there’s a work area with walls on three sides and a curtain on the driver’s side to protect from the elements. Acrylic work-surfaces are easy to clean. A translucent rooftop lets in natural yet filtered light. During instruction, Nallely follows all COVID protocols and safety measures.
”I’m very grateful to Nissan Mexicana,” said Flores. “I didn’t expect this surprise, even more that this pickup would be adapted as a mobile classroom. My students will no longer take classes in full sunlight.”
Flores drives four hours every day to visit each of her students – about 30 per day. With her new mobile classroom, it now takes less time to travel between homes, and instruction is more comfortable and productive.
“I first got the idea to reach out to my students because I was aware that not all of them have internet access, and it was difficult to contact them,” said Flores. “This is why I decided to drive from house to house and continue teaching in the back of my old truck using just a table and two chairs.”
The NP300 donation was from Nissan with support from Carlos Escoto, the general director of the National Association of Nissan Automobile Dealers (ANDANAC) in Mexico.
“We’re excited to help Ms. Flores continue teaching her students,” said Joan Busquets, vice president in transition, Manufacturing, Nissan Mexicana.. “People like her make a difference in our society and deserve the best. We want to thank Carlos Escoto who helped with a donation of equipment and teaching materials so Nallely and her students can continue with their classes.”