Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Public School Project
We returned to our latest school project on this November visit to view the many improvements. While school ended last week, two classes were meeting.
In this first picture, the students were having a party to celebrate the end of 5th grade and next door, second photo, the students were working to prepare the walls of their classroom for painting.
These two class rooms are part of an older building where our funders helped us to install a new roof and windows (notice them in the photo).
Since our first contact with this school in 2012, the attendance has grown from 260 to a 2016 enrollment of 509. Testing outcomes have soared.
Our friends Leonor and Fredy have spent much time securing resources for this school (lower picture). As a follow-up to our day at school, we visited FEPADE. This is a nonprofit organized by the business leaders (of El Salvador) to improve the quality of education in El Salvador. FEPADE is funded by Salvadoran business leaders and USAID.
In an earlier journal, we mentioned the Ministry of Education stated that 65% of the schools are not student ready. At our meeting with Ana, she said it was much worse.
With the funds from the business community, FEPADE has provided regular teacher training, computers and matching funds to the money we contribute for academic improvements. In a nut shell, our $9,000 for starting the grades 7, 8, and 9 has been matched with another $9,000 for academic improvements.
FEPADE is well aware of these improvements and has challenged us to fund another classroom whereby they can establish a science lab. This is a major opportunity for any school.
In turn we urged Ana to connect us with a local business man to seed our fundraising for a new classroom that is expected to cost $8,000. We all left the meeting accepting our responsibilities, knowing that this public school in one of the poorest departments of the country has strong families and well trained teachers. Together the students and teachers have a common passion for education that energizes us on every visit.