We founded Amún Shéa, Center for Integrated Development as a correction to a programmed failure. The problem-based learning curriculum focuses on real-world and local developmental issues. And we started young, with a K through third grade program in 2008, expanding one grade per year. Our students do not study subjects; they study problems and create solutions. Math, Science and other subjects are used as tools in the application of solutions, consulted as needed to get the job done.
I assume a large dose of denial is present when a school system carries on as normal during a decade long civil war. Cumbersome bureaucracy and tradition perhaps explain carrying on with no real adjustment in direction while achievement bottoms out and competence only exists in test scores. The current teacher body was largely educated during the civil war, which obviously has an influence of importance.
The local public high school in Perquín turns out over 100 ill trained accountants and secretaries each year. In an area with practically no openings for these vocations, this only motivates migration out of the area in search of opportunity. At the same time, if one needs an electrician, a plumber, an agricultural engineer or technicians of any stripe or specialty, there are none to be found except in the larger cities.
Obstacles abound but progress is undeniable; we´re building a new model. Come along with us at Amún Shéa.