Colombia was one of the countries where Pope Francis showed interest in establishing ProFuturo. Since the creation of the project and its start in July 2016, the Holy Father has closely followed and encouraged this initiative, promoted by the Fundación Telefónica and Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa”.
At the end of August, the number of beneficiaries of the different ProFuturo projects in Colombia were 345,495 including students, educators and parents. It is estimated that this will increase to more than 493,000 by the end of the year.
By the end of 2017, ProFuturo projects will benefit 493,000 educators, students and parents
One of Profuturo’s priority projects in Colombia is the blended (in-person and virtual) ‘Aulas en Paz’ initiative created by the University of los Andes and the Convivencia Productiva Corporation, and supported by Fundación Telefónica. The initiative was designed to promote peaceful coexistence among primary school students both inside and outside of the classroom. From a multidisciplinary point of view, educators are trained so that they can educate their students while also involving parents in an environment of conflict resolution based on dialogue and assertiveness.
Pope Francis shows interest in ProFuturo: Visit photo gallery
On the occasion of the Pope’s Apostolic Visit to Colombia, César Alierta, President of Fundación Telefónica and ProFuturo, Alfonso Gómez Palacio, President and CEO of Telefónica Colombia and Enrique Chaux, Investigator at the University of los Andes, met with the Holy Father in Villavicencio to show him what has been achieved so far. Carlos Morales, the representative of CaixaBank and Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa” in Colombia, also took part in the visit to Villavicencio.
The blended learning modality used in ‘Aulas en Paz’ has helped to improve the scalability of the program, in order to reach a larger number of teachers, students and parents from different vulnerable areas.
Up until August of this year, 1,775 educators from 69 educational institutions in 13 municipalities have received training through the project. This has resulted in benefits for more than 62,000 children in primary school.
With the educational projects of Fundación Telefónica in Latin America and Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa”, ProFuturo seeks to transform the education of 10 million children in 2020.
The effectiveness of this initiative becomes clear when hearing the testimony of educators like Marisol Cetecua, from the Institución Educativa Tecnológico de Madrid. She explains that with ‘Aulas en Paz’, “discipline problems have been reduced now that I know what I learned from the program’s methods. They help me to adequately control conflicts among students. It’s also very gratifying seeing children learn to solve their problems peacefully and not by fighting.”
‘Aulas en Paz’ has been developed by the Convivencia Productiva Corporation and the University of los Andes for over more than a decade in Colombia. It has also been applied in Peru, Mexico and Chile.
Other ProFuturo projects in Colombia
Taking advantage of Fundación Telefónica’s experience with education in Colombia, ProFuturo has developed other educational projects in the country for training educators (“Aulas Fundación Telefónica”), students (“Aula Digital” and “Piensa en Grande”), and parents (“Escuela TIC Familia”).
In the words of César Alierta, “through digital education, ProFuturo wants to help close the digital gap that exists in Colombia. To do so, we’re building alliances with different members of the educational community that work in vulnerable areas.”
“For our projects to have a real impact”, adds Alierta, “we feel it’s essential that part of the objectives of this initiative be to make each of our allies and beneficiaries more capable. To achieve this, it’s essential that we have the support of local authorities and each of the educational institutions we work with that make it easier to include our programs in the Institutional Educational Projects.”
The Aula Digital proposal for Colombia is focused on educational transformation in the most disadvantaged communities, using digital education as a tool. It involves four lines of action: making better use of the technology that schools already have; the use of the Weclass educational platform, both in its online and offline versions, for the management of educational processes, personalizing learning, accessing innovative content and producing reports on the results; a repository of digital contents and activities surrounding skills, values and abilities that promote a well-rounded education, based on literacy and preparation for social and productive life; and training, accompaniment and support, since teachers receive group training and individualized help in the classroom through the platform. The teacher can propose new activities, and by sharing them they can help to build a large educational community.
Piensa en Grande
Is a project that helps teachers and students develop 21st-century skills. ‘Piensa en Grande’ is a methodological alternative in the classroom for teaching that provides educators with new tools and resources that help to make the learning and teaching process more dynamic thanks to it being easily modified, with flexible methods, the possibility of being reproduced, the contribution to the development and provision of content, and incorporation into the Institutional Educational Projects (PEI).
Piensa en Grande is applied to young people between 14 and 17 at 4 different times, with each developing a group of skills: Discover_me: Self-knowledge, motivation and personal responsibility; Integrate_me: Leadership, teamwork, conflict resolution, social and cultural empathy; Wake_me: Innovation-creativity, social entrepreneurship and project management; and Project_me: Formulating, managing and realizing social initiatives.
Escuela TIC Familia
Within the framework of the 2014-2018 National Development Plan, the “Escuela TIC Familia” project is a strategy aimed at parents and caregivers that attempts to bring parents closer to their children’s educational process by promoting adequate use of ICT and helping to close the digital gap between generations.
The training process is blended, incorporating four modules for in-person education and four modules for virtual education through the School TIC platform. Activities are conducted with the help and guidance of an educator who encourages the participants in the project to make each of the subjects their own. It is based on an educational method for adults. It includes content on connectivity, responsible use of ICTs, skills for peaceful coexistence, leadership and innovation, among others.
In 2017, the project reached 188 educational institutions, as well as Vive Digital points and kiosks in the libraries of 55 municipalities that are part of the National Library Network.
Using technology to accelerate development
According to César Alierta, President of ProFuturo, its mission is “to provide equal opportunities for boys and girls in vulnerable environments by means of high-quality, personalized and innovative education to transform their learning and provide tools for the future”. “We’re convinced that we have the best opportunity to use technology to accelerate the development and social well-being of citizens through digital education”, adds Alierta.
With the educational projects of the Fundación Telefónica in Latin America and Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa”, ProFuturo seeks to transform the education of 10 million children in 2020.
In 2017, ProFuturo will reach 23 countries, including Angola, Uganda, Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala and Brazil. As of the end of 2016, ProFuturo had benefited 3.8 million children and trained more than 207,000 teachers at more than 32,000 school