Aula Magica (Magical Classroom) gives jobs to young people 16 to 24 years old in Guatemala. Entrepreneurial and community-minded kids are licensed to use pre-recorded interactive programs to teach children in remote areas not served by the Guatemalan government, in their native languages. It trains and pays these community facilitators to guide children in program activities, developing kids' cognitive, language and social skills, preparing them to attend and successfully complete primary school
Early childhood learning is crucial to later educational attainment, but in many rural areas the Guatemalan government does not provide preschool. Children there enter primary school ill-prepared and run a high risk of early failure: while nearly 60% of Guatemalan kids fail to complete primary school, the rate for rural indigenous children, whose first language may not be Spanish, is even higher. At least 30% fail the first grade, when many drop out, severely limiting their future opportunities.
This project helps overcome geographic isolation and lack of educational resources by delivering audio programs in indigenous languages. Low-tech, low-cost and culturally sensitive, it trains and pays literate community youth to lead children in fun, interactive group learning sessions and activities.
Providing programs to underserved indigenous areas will help stem the tide of failure in primary school by preparing children to learn. Training community youth to be program facilitators will create jobs for them and raise awareness of early childhood learning among parents. Longer term, early learning can have a significant positive impact on children's future opportunities and livelihoods as adults. Aula Magica plans to roll out the program in 10 communities over the next 2 years.
Link to sample activities
Link to a sample programs
Link to a video of Rosa Maria and Quirio
Link to a youtube video