Zweisprachiges und interkulturelles Bildungsprogramm
The program was developed at the request of the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) to help improve bilingual and intercultural education after successfully working with the Mayan organization X'chool Ixim from 2000 to 2009 in the Alta Verapaz region. It began in 5 Maya Q'eachi 'schools and was gradually expanded to 50 state schools in 2009, then to 300 state schools at the request of MINEDUC. From 2016, at the request of the Ministry, the program expanded its activities to the Tecpän municipality in the Chimaltenango department (8 schools and 86 teachers). This expansion has shown that the educational approach proposed by the program also applies to other language regions of the country, in this Case for the Kaqchiquel language community, makes sense.
The main results achieved in the 2018-2020 phase include:
- Through further training measures, the program has improved the skills of around 500 primary and pre-school teachers in the Alta Verapaz department and 90 teachers in the Chimaltenango department. According to the surveys carried out in the two intervention regions, 9 out of 10 teachers were satisfied or very satisfied with the advanced training offered by the program.
- Observations in schools in Alta Verapaz have shown that the use of the teaching materials proposed by the program favors more diverse and active teaching methods, encouraging analysis and reflection on the part of students and more interaction between teachers. In Chimaltenango, on the other hand, there is still room for improvement in the practice of bilingualism, as Spanish still dominates over Kagchikel-Maya. Learning to read and write is still very traditional in these schools (repetition of letters and syllables) and interaction between teachers and students is limited. In Chimaltenango, the program has only been present for a relatively short time, which partly explains the even weaker adoption of the approach.
- The quantitative indicators also show good progress. For example, the transfer rate in the schools of Alta Verapaz increased from 78% (2017) to 86% (2019), while it remained constant in Chimaltenango (87%).
The strategy of the previous program phase will largely be continued. What is new is the increased cooperation with the National System of Support for Education (SINAE) in San Juan Chamelco in the Alta Verapaz department. On the one hand, this will expand the geographical area covered by the program so that more teachers and students can be reached; In addition, the integration of teacher training in a state structure contributes to the sustainability of the program. In addition, the educational support and advice of the Vice Ministry for Bilingual and Intercultural Education will be increased, including with a view to adapting the teaching strategy of the Ministry with a view to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Training measures for teachers
With the team of the National System for Support of Education (SINAE) of the municipality of San Juan Chamelco, an annual plan for training and educational support in the classrooms is drawn up and accompanied and technically supported by the educational team of the program. This plan defines the topics to be dealt with by the teachers based on the needs identified by the SINAE education specialists.
Building on the 2020 experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will continue to offer virtual training courses for teachers from two departments in 2021, aimed at improving their ability to guide educational processes with students who are based on hybrid modalities (virtual training and presence) and pursue a bilingual intercultural approach. In addition, as part of the ongoing training normally offered by the DIDEDUCs, the program’s educational team will set up a cycle of virtual conferences for teachers in the two intervention regions. At the beginning of the phase, a multi-year training plan is developed and agreed with the DIDEDUCSs in each region in order to determine the topics to be dealt with during the phase.