Alianza por la Educación Rural para Antioquia -ERA-
- Colombia, Antioquia
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The project is strengthening rural public education in Antioquia (Columbia) at all levels, in terms of coverage, quality and pertinence to contribute to social and economic development of the communities in their territories. The inspiring practice includes active teaching pedagogies (Waldorf, Reggio Emilia & Montesorri).
To strengthen rural public education in Antioquia at all levels, in terms of coverage, quality and pertinence to contribute to social and economic development of the communities in their territories.
The inspiring practice includes active teaching pedagogies (Waldorf, Reggio Emilia & Montesorri).
It is a public private partnership -PPP- comprised of different organisations, both public and private, in the Department of Antioquia and nationwide who have experience in education and in the promotion for development. Each stakeholder contributes either economically, professionally or both.
There are around 400 children in 125 municipalities (most of them very rural) who do not have to leave their homes to study High School elsewhere. Also, there are 30 children in the rural area, who before, could only study until fifth grade, and now, they are studying a technical education in tourism at the Colegio Mayor de Antioquia.
It is an inspiring practice because it democratizes the access to education and life projects in the rural areas so the people do not continue to flock the cities to "die of hunger" and to really have (at least if they really want to come to the city), the opportunity to compete in equal conditions with a youngster from the urban area, because there is a false saying in the rural areas which is that: the city life is better. If those youngsters come to the city without proper education, eventually they will end up working as doorkeepers, household employees or truck-loaders at the marketplace. Also, many children will end up in the illegal criminal bands.
The practice also includes delivery of pedagogical contents with a STEM approach.
The project takes into consideration the rural context and the scattering of the populations. Therefore, a new educational model is implemented (Escuela Nueva) where the teaching contents and the teacher caters and delivers contents to different school grades (e.g. children from 5 to 13 years of age).
Furthermore, some technical and technological programs are also offered in rural areas so that students don't go to the city (e.g. tourism).
Hands-on material is used in hexagonal tables where up to three children share one book and a guide.
Different stakeholders may participate and they should agree on different responsibilities for the success of the implementation.
The different donors who deliver economic or non-economic resources, are part of a Board of Directors where decisions are made. Thematic commissions are also created at the specific level.
The different stakeholders give their inputs in their own area of expertise (e.g. educational, social, economic, etc.) There are non-governmental organizations, the public sector, private companies, compensation funds, involved.
Habeas Data as a right is observed and enforced in handling children's information and their families.
The Taskforce team is also based on productive projects, so it involves Agronomic Engineers, Environmental Engineers and farmers.
The practice involved the participation of school heads, parent associations, the different Mayors, teachers, students and alumni.
Teachers and students work in cooperative way. Besides, the different partners come together and discuss the specific needs to be delivered.
The territorial aspects and the specific context of rural areas and are taken into consideration to design the different strategies. Therefore, it is context-dependent.
Before implementing the project, an agreement between the different participants must be signed. The participants include teachers, students, former students, the public sector officials and parents. The participants sign an agreement where they have rights and also duties.
The project counts with other advisors, teachers and experts in rural education. Since the Department of Antioquia is big and diverse, those factors are taken into consideration (e.g. indigenous population, displaced persons, territories with different economic conditions like coffee, mining or with security problems because of the presence of guerrillas or paramilitaries.)
Some of the project’s resources have been digitalized especially, when working with the national authorities in the educational field (e.g. Ministry of Education). Therefore, the information can be accessed online.
There is a Board of Directors. There are founding partners in which the Government of Antioquia is always present, as well as Comfama, Fraternidad Medellín, Secretos para Contar and the coffee growers committee. Those institutions comprise the Board of Directors. Then, there is a technical committee conformed by representatives of all the Foundations who meet once a month and where summaries are presented and input and ideas are given. Meetings may range from technical aspects to more pedagogical. And there is also an Assembly created for those partners who do not wish to become directly involved in the technical committee.
External partners usually deliver funding (economic) or can provide other non-monetary resources like furniture, books and textbooks, food, etc.
The project has a Board of Directors. This arena allows to share different lessons, experiences and thus institutional learning is enhanced and achieved.
The project has a municipal coordinator or a zone coordinator (when municipalities are very small). They have in charge a team of pedagogic advisors who train every-day the teachers or do accompaniment to schools.
The assessment was about to begin, but since the COVID-19 outbreak it is currently halted.