Education is relevant insofar as it leaves the student equipped for the full productive and social participation within their environment, prepared to innovate that environment and motivated to go beyond it's horizons. There is a need to define the objective of education, in that if it is to form good students or to improve productivity and the quality of life.
We maintain that academic performance is important only in its application to the environment and as a support for efficient and pertinent technical training. The debate regarding how to improve the low academic grades on standardized tests makes sense only insofar as these can improve the student's work and social skills.
The objective of the twelve years of basic education should be to train with personal and technical skills for job placement, self-employment or specialization with higher education. And the educational offer must respond to the conditions of real opportunities present in the student's environment.
For the environment of the north of Morazán, the labor insertion of a technical baccalauréat has three possibilities: to strengthen the installed capacity of the productive associations, to achieve one of the limited positions in the tourist industry, or self-employment. The current shortage of jobs in trade, manufacturing and processing in the environment leads us to establish a priority in technical training for self-employment.
We greatly appreciate your support for improving the quality of education for Salvadoran youth.
Quality education signifies academic and technical formation relevant to the students environment. For our students in Amún Shéa, the environment is rural with limited basic services, very little demand for labor and little production beyond traditional subsistence agriculture. Relevant education means matching the local potential resources and opportunities with a learning program to help prepare young people with the skills needed to take advantage of those opportunities and potentials.
We have incorporated a new technical vocational high school course in our 2018 program at Amún Shéa, within this visión of relevant education. This technical vocational course is Ag-Business, still within the pilot stage of development. Fifteen high schools in El Salvador are implementing this course as a pilot: fourteen public schools and Amún Shéa.
An added feature of this new program is that it goes beyond technical training and includes creative thinking, business planning, personal leadership, accounting and other important personal skills needed for entrepreneurship. We are very happy to form part of the pilot phase of this new program, as it fits very well to what we have been developing on our own.
We greatly appreciate your support for quality education in Morazán. Thank you
Fun and games are actually techniques and applications for Problem Based Learning (PBL). The 2018 school year just began at Amún Shéa Center for Integrated Development and we are back with new techniques to deepen our PBL program. Our teachers just went through an intensive training course and we begin the year with a focus on “The Production and Implementation of Creative Ideas”.
Personal leadership (because before leading others we must learn to guide ourselves), creative communication and scientific experimentation are the key components to be introduced and developed as fundamental to this focus.
To fully implement this year’s focus, we have organized our PBL program into three main areas: Physics, Biology, and Art and Communication. This will actually mean much less “classroom time” and much more experimentation. The greenhouses, fish growing tanks, vegetable garden, laboratory and other installations increasingly become our classrooms.
Innovative and relevant education towards building a hub of development in Morazán is our goal. This is only possible with your financial help, as we are working in one of the economically depressed areas in El Salvador. Please share this with family and friends. We greatly appreciate your support for this project. A special thank you to those with recurring monthly donations, something we can count on and look forward to receiving.
As you all know, one of Amún Shéa’s biggest points of pride is the amount of autonomy and control our students have over their education and personal development. This is, no doubt, a central reason that so many of you continue to chose to support PEOF in its work to make this methodology a reality throughout Morazán and El Salvador.
Perhaps the most powerful example of this aspect of Amún Shéa is our dance group, Danzu. Founded by students nearly two years ago and 100% student run, this group has shown how much kids can do when given the autonomy and resources they need. I, along with the entire Amún Shéa community, have had the pleasure to watch this collection of students take on more members and grow personally and professionally for the past two years. Their recent participation in the national GleeFest 2017 competition highlighted the outstanding nature of this group and the potential that such efforts hold for the students of Amún Shéa and the entire Integrated System of Perquín.
Disappointingly, we were unable to raise the funds necessary to participate in an official capacity in the competition; a related microproject on GlobalGiving failed to raise any funds to support the group. Due to this financial issue, the group was barred from winning the competition, even though several judges and rival groups told members of our team that they could have easily won the competition. Thankfully, due to their excellent performance, Danzu garnered the support of a local patron to finance their participation in next year’s contest.
It is understandable to feel that Amún Shéa has reached high enough levels of development that further financial support is not merited, especially given this year’s huge successes of the CIAC, the Dr. William Brinker Science Laboratory, and the expansion of our methodology throughout the Integrated System of Perquín. The realization of these goals, however, just underscores the need for more financing.
As we try to reach more and more students, the financial burden on PEOF becomes heavier and the risk of having student groups like Danzu slipping through the cracks becomes greater. This is a risk I am not willing to take, and I know that you feel the same way if you have supported this project in the past. With the holiday season fast approaching, please consider taking the time and money to renew your support of PEOF and Amún Shéa. Please also consider taking advantage of our new partnership program with eBay, which we will detail in an upcoming newsletter (so make sure to sign up at our website if you haven’t already!). Thank you for your continuing interest and support.
In the past, we have almost entirely focused on the impact your donations have made at Amún Shéa, and with good reason; Amún Shéa has been, and remains, the most direct embodiment of Perkin Educational Opportunity Foundation’s mission of bringing pertinent, effective education to Northern Morazán. To say that Amún Shéa is PEOF’s only work, though, is far from accurate. In the long run, PEOF sees Amún Shéa as a development hub, a model for education for Northern Morazán. Much of PEOF’s focus, then, lies in working with the institutions that make up the educational framework of our region. Immediately, this means working with the Perquín School System (SIPER) to implement our educational methodology on a wider scale and thinking about how you can help us do so.
PEOF has worked with SIPER for many years now, but in recent months this partnership has truly blossomed. From the beginning of this school year in January up until the present, a dedicated team of specialists from Amún Shéa and PEOF has been working to foment the Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodology throughout SIPER. This work has included an array of workshops focused on developing mathematics skills through games and projects, the potential of using Legos as a teaching tool, and how to plan and carry out ambitious projects. We have gotten a huge amount of technical and administrative support from our new partnership with the Pestalozzi Foundation, but due to the scope of the project, we always need more support.
Recently, teams of students from various institutions throughout SIPER met in Perquín to present project ideas which included ideas such as an automated watering system aimed at reusing rainwater and reducing waste and a business plan for creating didactic materials from wood to sell throughout the SIPER. We want to continue fostering these kinds of young minds and we know you do too. Your support goes even further than ever before now that our influence is spreading to a wider audience.
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