Ongoing educator training adds to the quality of education in Piauí State
The work performed by the Ayrton Senna Institute has altered the administration of education in partner schools and this has been reflected in the students’ learning. Based upon an initial assessment and management tools, together with the ongoing training of the education departments’ staffs over the year, the education networks have been working with indicators and targets that guarantee the success of each child and young person.
One example is the result in relation to the reading and writing of the students in the 3rd grade of elementary education in the partner schools. According to the teachers’ evaluations, from February 2014, when the school year started, up to October, the children showed good levels of development.
With regard to reading, at the start of the year, one quarter of the students read slowly, syllable by syllable. The learning was so good over the year that, by October, this index had dropped to 10% and the proportion of children reading fluently had reached 68%. More improvement: the initial percentage of almost 60% of children who could only manage to read simple words fell to 20% in October, and more than half of them could also write words with complex syllables by then. Writing had an important highlight as well. Whilst 76.9% of the students could only write loose sentences at the start of the year, by October, only three out of every ten students still had this difficulty.
These are important victories that largely result from the ongoing training that the Ayrton Senna Institute teams provided over the year. In 2014, the central issue was the school curriculum and its implications in the school practices.
Here are some observations from educators working in the region:
“The texts from the ongoing training that cover the curriculum demystified lots of things that we hadn’t felt comfortable with up until then. A curriculum in our municipal education system was something that was still a long way away from being a reality. With this new knowledge, provided by the Institute, we can definitely work with the students’ needs and we will also be confident about what content and skills it will be important to develop within a specific period of time.” Silvana Pereira Maia – Teacher and Elementary Education Coordinator
“Studying the texts about curriculum led to a very important discussion on our school practices, making us take a fresh look at the purposes and the means of the education. From a broad perspective, from the classroom to the system as a whole, we are now able to see a vision of human and social development in our students in all aspects, and this has only expanded our sense of responsibility as educators, encouraging us to research and study the issue in more depth.” Francisco Herton Rodrigues Vieira – Municipal Coordinator of the Program
Maria de Sousa Municipal School is located in Água Branca, a small town in upstate Piauí. There are 215 pupils enrolled between the 2nd and 5th grades of elementary school, attending classes from 7a.m. to 3p.m.
In 2013, school principal Thais Cardoso Siqueira recognized that 30% pupils had obtained grades that were lower than those expected for the school year. On top of this, data collected on a monthly basis showed that there was a high level of absenteeism and many pupils were not doing their homework.
School’s administrators subsequently planned a task-force in order to confront these problems and increase pupils performance. Everyone was invited to take part in the activities involved in this process: secretaries, assistants, teachers, coordinators and the principal. Some activities were:
At the end of the third quarter, the rate of students below expected performance had been reduced to 23%, whilst there was a surprise at the end of the year: a 100% pass rate across all the grades. “This result was a victory achieved by all professionals involved in the teaching-learning process,” said Thais. “In order to obtain the trust and engagement of the staff, I had to show commitment, not swerve from the focus, be a true partner and believe in change.”
The actions developed at Maria de Sousa School are a success example achieved when management tools are implemented and when the watchful eye of the principal is equally focused on each one of the pupils. This is how Ayrton Senna Institute has been working over the past twenty years: believing that any child and any young person can recover and increase their knowledge to successfully move forward at school and in life.
A very serious education problem in Brazil is the high level of school failure that leads millions of children and youngsters to increase the age-grade distortion rates. This happens because of an educational system which still fails to deliver quality education to students, especially in the States of the North and Northeast regions, where Piauí is at. This State still features on the 2013 ranking with 34,7% of its students behind in their elementary studies, but has been investing to reduce this percentage. In four years, it achieved an 18% drop, while Brazilian average fell 14%.
This result is a consequence of public policies to improve education, like the partnership with the Instituto Ayrton Senna, whose educational programs have led hundreds of school leaders to believe their students are capable of learning and passing grades. Dropout has been decreasing and more children are moving forward in their studies with enthusiasm. The average passing rate at the municipal public systems that partner Instituto Ayrton Senna surpasses 90% and the qualification of results in external evaluations such as the Prova Brasil (large scale government evaluation) is a goal to be reached.
Thank all of you who contributed to our program so far, and allowed us to invest US$ 12.717 to benefit the children of Piauí. But we still need to raise further resources in order to reach our goal and we are counting on you to improve these children’s lives.
School Newspaper encourages children from Piaui to learn
Students of small town Água Branca, in Piauí, are playing the role of journalists during 2014. The reason is that Instituto Ayrton Senna has taken there the School Newspaper project, which aims to stimulate children to read, analyze and form their own opinion. Writing and editing a newspaper in class allow students to improve their writing and reading, besides boosting cooperation and critical thinking competencies.
In all, 1057 students from 4th to 7th grade of elementary school of 7 schools are taking part of the project. Each school will produce 3 newspaper issues over the year. In the newspaper production the teachers work on specific textual genres (opinion texts, comics, poetry, life story, based note, reader´s letter, etc.) in formats that include editorial, report news, interview, etc. Thus, students will have the chance to learn while having fun, engaged to say what they think and what they know.
“For students to produce good texts they must know what they mean, who they are writing for and which is the genre that best expresses those ideas. Reaching such goals requires hard reading and constant review, aspects that we believe will be covered by building the School Newspaper.” – says Gildon Gonçalves Lima, teacher and pedagogical coordinator of Municipal School Maria do Carmo Ennes Fonseca.
Children are thrilled with the novelty. Schools of Água Branca have been making progress in education but a great deal of work is still needed. Official assessments point out that only 33% of students have learn properly in reading and texts interpretation up to 5th grade in municipal schools system. In the state of Piaui, the index is even low: only two out of ten children of this age group know how to read and write accordingly.
For this reason, you donation is much important. The funds collected through Global Giving help to change the reality of children and young from Piauí so that they succeed in school and in life.
Photos credit: Neyla Siqueira dos Santos Alencar || Education Department Coordinator – Água Branca - PI
The resources donated through the ‘Global Giving’ project are making a difference in the lives of thousands of Brazilian children and young people. These are children in the state school systems who are managing to glimpse a better and more promising future with each passing day!
The city of Castelo do Piauí, located around 200km from Teresina, the capital of Piauí state, is an example of this new reality and, through a partnership with the Ayrton Senna Institute, it is reinforcing the understanding that effective educational administration can make a tangible contribution to the full development of children and young people.
In 2006, the municipality decided to focus on the education that it was offering its children and, to do so, established a partnership with the Institute, adopting the ‘Acelera Brasil’ (‘Accelerate Brazil’), ‘Se Liga’ (‘Connect Yourself’), ‘Circuito Campeão’ (‘Champion Circuit’) and ‘Gestão Nota 10’ (‘Top Marks Management’) programs. The work is intense, requiring a great deal of dedication, motivation and commitment to overcoming challenges, values that Ayrton Senna experienced on and off the track, and which provide the ‘fuel’ for the work to become a reality.
One important step, taken in 2010, was the intensification of the literacy policy. In doing so, the partnership focused on the training of literacy teachers, staged activities that involved the families, invested in child education and reading throughout all the school years.
The results are very exciting! In 2007, in the first year of elementary education in the municipal schools of Castelo do Piauí, 87.4% of children were literate. In 2012, this figure had risen to 92.5%; in other words, almost all the children had learned how to read and write properly.
In 2012, attendance hit 93% of students, and absolutely every pupil remained in school: no children dropped out of school or abandoned their studies!
The city also took first place amongst municipalities’ literacy levels throughout the entire State of Piauí.
All the actions and these impressive results have only possible thanks to donations from people who, just like the Institute and you, believe that education is the most important path for training and preparing people for life.
Now, even more, we need to make sure that the story that has unfurled in Castelo do Piauí can be repeated in every other town in the state. To do so, we are counting on you!
Take part, contribute and make a difference.
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