An education model to follow
El Salvador's public education system falls woefully short of what the country and its children require. But an innovative school in the rural department of Morazán is showing that a different model of education, focused on problem-solving, empowerment and health can produce dramatically better results.
The Center for Integrated Development Amún Shéa in Perquín, Morazán, achieved a score of 7.88 in the 2017 national standardized test of learning and skills, PAES. This is the Salvadoran standardized test for high school students and this score was much higher than the national average. 2017 was the school's first year of participation.
From the blog of the school's founder, Ron Brenneman:
Amún Shéa is a program of Perkin Educational Opportunities Foundation, PEOF and was created with the aim of supporting the socioeconomic development of northern Morazán through human capacity building, and has adopted a methodology of Problem Based Learning (PBL) through developing applications that offer answers to the needs of the local surroundings.
It was designed as an “educational laboratory” to develop methodology and applications for the official curriculum, with the confidence that this would contribute to the improvement of public and rural education in El Salvador. In 2016 PEOF signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Salvadoran Ministry of Education, MINED, as a pilot project to share the PBL methodology with seven public schools in the municipality of Perquín.
Who attends our school? Our educational program is open to all families who want a comprehensive and non-traditional education for their children. We do not reject any student for economic reasons. PEOF subsidizes on average 75% of students’ tuition.In its series on education in El Salvador, El Faro produced this video about the innovative school and its achievements.