After the successful application of 25 initiatives from 10 countries in the 2nd Call for Innovation for Educational Justice in Central America and the Caribbean, the webinar “Lab-Ed SUMMA: promoting education for Educational Justice” was held, during which the 4 winning innovations of this second edition were recognized.
The call, organized by SUMMA and OECS through the KIX LAC program, with the support of IDRC Canada, awarded each one with $10,000 dollars for its implementation and technical support with a workshop on theory of change and sustainability plan.
Raul Chacón, director of the SUMMA – KIX LAC program, welcomed the attendees and especially thanked the 25 work teams that presented their initiatives, highlighting the generality of wanting to make a social impact and the desire to scale them beyond the communities where they are currently being implemented, “innovation is not only about creative ideas, but also about recognizing what needs different types of support to achieve concrete and measurable results”.
For his part, Florencio Ceballos, IDRC senior program, congratulated the initiatives, stressing that “we understand that scaling is a complex, progressive process with many stages of building evidence and knowledge, and these innovations are a very important part of the educational ecosystem of the Latin American region, being led and accompanied by SUMMA”.
The objective of the call was to identify and promote solutions that respond to the main challenges and problems faced by the region’s education systems. The initiatives recognized were:
- Promote gender equality in On Continue! schools,
This project seeks to promote gender equality in St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines through teacher training and sensitization of students under their own e-learning method. It is expected to reach 25 French teachers and 300 English-speaking teachers and about 400 students in 3 schools in each country.
Video about the initiative (in French)
- Conecta Aprende of the Zamora Terán Foundation – Honduras
Teacher Professional Development Program focused on the transition to virtuality, digital literacy and reading and writing, which teaches how to use virtual platforms for teaching purposes and integrates families in the process of children’s learning. Its objective is to reach 850 teachers in vulnerable communities by 2022 and its teaching methodology is based on the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model.
Video about the initiative (in Spanish)
- Bay Island Educator Leadership Program – Partners in Education Roatan (PIER)- Honduras
The objective is to strengthen the capacities of teachers in the department of Islas de la Bahía (Honduras), whose educational community is culturally and linguistically diverse. It will be carried out using the trainer of trainers methodology. It is expected to reach 60 teachers in the program, indirectly benefiting +700 teachers and +10,000 students and 4 educational centers and their educational community.
- Strengthening learning skills – Fundación Pedagógica de Cooperación Genuina (FUPECG)- Nicaragua
It consists of the implementation of an alternative evaluation system, contextualized and inclusive at the level of both participants and those who apply it, in line with the health and community education models that exist in Nicaragua. By being able to assess the real quality of basic skills in reading, mathematics and social interaction of our children, it will also be possible to develop and implement a route for their improvement. They expect to reach 1200 homes and will be based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) methodology.
Video about the initiative (In Spanish)
Next, María José Sepúlveda, Director of Program Evaluation and Educational Policies at SUMMA, spoke about “Innovation and recovery of learning in post-pandemic contexts”, highlighting the path from the identification of gaps and educational challenges, to the contextualization of innovative policies and practices that have a positive impact through the systematization of experiences and evidence, to achieve the generation of scalable proposals at the regional level and finally, to impact by taking the evidence to the various actors of the education ecosystem. He also shared the Effective Practices Platform and the Map of Innovations developed by SUMMA.
Afterwards, Elma Barahona from the Universidad Nacional Pedagógica Francisco Morazán Honduras and member of the initiatives’ follow-up committee, shared her own experience of visiting a school with the “Conecta aprende” initiative, highlighting the construction of a nurturing climate for collective learning. “I loved how the actors interact from a look of respect, from safety as a platform for this initiative where much emphasis is placed on socioemotional dynamics, generating a space for communication and much more constructive relationships. The teachers are producing specific data that allow them to understand their reality in the children’s learning and what they need for the project to be scalable”.
Charmaine Bissessar, from the University of Guyana and also a member of the follow-up committee, acknowledged the motivation that these initiatives have generated for her to accompany their implementation, since they have all been able to demonstrate that they have achieved what was planned, even in post-pandemic contexts. He also valued the importance of the fact that these initiatives speak of educational justice, gender equality, indigenous peoples and socio-emotional intelligence.
At the end of the meeting, Celeste Burton, from OECS, expressed special thanks to the innovations of the Caribbean countries and from OECS, she stated that they have been talking about how innovation can be applied as a multidisciplinary element in the places where the education system requires the most attention. He also emphasized the importance of ongoing research and data collection in order to continue informing the processes and the cooperative approach with other organizations that help disseminate this information.
Subsequently, a theory of change workshop was held for the members of the groups of the 4 recognized initiatives.