International alliance towards improving education in Bolivia
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), member of ICDE, has joined forces with the Fe y Alegría Bolivia organization to improve the use of new information technologies (ICT) in the areas of higher education and lifelong learning. Throughout 2016, the UOC will carry out digital training for the organization's technical staff in order to develop, together with the 10,000 teachers involved in coordination, training programmes across the organization's 415 educational communities around the country, serving a population with very limited resources.
This institutional collaboration will permit the development of wide-reaching educational programmes with broad social impact aimed at the more than 182,000 students that attend the Fe y Alegría centres of education in Bolivia.
Over the course of the collaborative period, the combined efforts of the UOC and Fe y Alegría will focus on strengthening the skills base of the 120 professionals that make up the Bolivian organization's technical team in order to contribute to the educational quality offered at the primary and secondary school centres they manage, as well as reducing inequality, poverty and exclusion in the low-income and marginalized sectors of the population.
Gemma Xarles, director of Development Cooperation for the UOC, and Víctor Casal, director of EduaciOnline, visited La Paz (Bolivia) to sign the agreement with Fe y Alegría, which will provide an opportunity for the University to offer international social internships to its students in the second term of 2016.
Outlining the motivation behind the collaborative project being established with Fe y Alegría, the director said: "Although in recent years the Bolivian Government has provided schools across the country with ICT resources, the responsibility for their use was left to the teachers, who, in some cases, do not possess the sufficient levels of proficiency to capitalise on that. In the absence of any serious thought being given to optimising the use of the technology to effect a meaningful improvement in educational quality, the UOC would like to contribute with the addition of methodological expertise".
The Fe y Alegría project will be supported by the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences.
In line with the internationalization and cooperation plan, the UOC will focus its efforts on the Fe y Alegría schools and teachers being able to develop their own pedagogical designs and adapt the methodological model to Latin American teacher training. In addition, the University's training proposals will include the contributions made by Bolivian teachers.