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Literacy, the Pathway to Sustainable Peace in Colombia

After 60 years of violent conflict, Colombia signed a peace deal with FARC in 2016.  However, there are still marked differences between rural and urban areas that amplify the existing poverty and inequality issues of the country. Consequently, the process of building sustainable peace in Colombia has been undermined. It seems that we are missing something, and literacy could be the way to get back on track.

The impact of the Colombian conflict on children’s education

In 2018, the government reported that 41, 411 children and adolescents were victims of the war, being the rural children the most affected. 

Building Peace in Colombia Number-of-children-and-adolescents-victims-of-the-war-(0-18-year-old)
Source: Unidad de Víctimas de Colombia

The armed conflict in Colombia has impacted not only the economy, public infrastructure, and social cohesion, but it also has impacted children’s education and development in different ways, including:

  • School dropout:  Students were displaced or recruited into armed groups or forced jobs to produce illegal drugs and illegal gold mining.
  • Lack of teachers: Teachers were threatened, displaced, or killed during the armed conflict.
  • Sexual and gender-based violence:  Most victims are female – including an increasing number of girls between the ages of 10 and 14.
  • Poor schools’ infrastructure:Attacks by non-state armed groups using landmines and bombs have damaged the physical infrastructure of schools especially in rural areas.

The rural and urban divide 

Reading in ColombiaColombia has made some progress in improving education for rural students but there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure children and young people have equal opportunities regardless of their geographic location.

  • Poverty rate: In 2020, the poverty rate increased to 42,5%, but the poverty rate in rural regions is considerably higher. For instance, in La Guajira, the rate equals 66,3% and in Choco, it is 64.6%. Unfortunately, families living in poverty have fewer books at home and limited resources to support their children’s education.1
  • School enrolment rate: Gaps in enrolment also persist between urban and rural areas. According to the World Bank, the school enrolment rate for 3 to 5-year-olds range from 80% or less in rural areas to over 90% in urban areas. For secondary school attendance, there is a 14% gap.2
  • Connectivity: Only 17% of the 2.4 million students in rural areas have access to the internet and computers. H.3  

Investment in education: crucial for peace in Colombia

Low literacy rates and poor education affect health, welfare, gender equality, social cohesion, and work opportunities, which can lead to increased rates of poverty and violence. Literacy development commences from an early age.

Investment in education crucial for peace in Colombia Reading with children helps them to develop a solid literacy foundation, essential to excel in school and life. Unfortunately, many kids from disadvantaged backgrounds are not receiving the educational support they need, especially during school disruptions due to the Covid-19.

To close the gap between urban and rural areas and build sustainable peace in Colombia, we need to create an inclusive and equal education system. Since 2014, the World Literacy Foundation (WLF) is contributing to the solution. Through Aprende Leyendo, WLF has provided free books, literacy packs, and supportive reading groups to children living in poverty in Colombia. 

Recently, the organization launched Dingo App, an innovative EdTech solution to connect the unconnected students in rural communities where internet service is limited, and digital devices are scarce. Aprende Leyendo is expanding their services to new communities in Colombia to ensure every child acquire literacy skills from an early age to become active and positive actors that contribute to the building of sustainable peace for all.

For more information visit: Aprende Leyendo

Written by: World Literacy Foundation 

Sources:

[1] https://www.larepublica.co/economia/mas-de-21-millones-de-personas-viven-en-la-pobreza-y-74-millones-en-pobreza-extrema-3161813#:~:text=Seg%C3%BAn%20cifras%20del%20Departamento%20Administrativo,2019%20(35%2C7%25).

[2] https://data.worldbank.org/country/colombia

[3] https://www.eltiempo.com/vida/educacion/solo-el-17-de-los-estudiantes-rurales-tiene-internet-y-computador-495684

La pobreza ligada al analfabetismo en Latinoamérica

La pobreza ligada al analfabetismo en Latinoamérica

Analfabetismo en latinoamérica: El rol que cumple la lectura en la vida de los niños es sumamente influyente, no solo a nivel personal, sino también en el desarrollo de un país. Una sociedad con mayor criterio de lectura tiene más posibilidades de destacarse en cuanto a productividad y crecimiento, pero sin una tasa de alfabetización alta, esto se vuelve imposible.

La lectura es una herramienta efectiva que permite a cualquier individuo tener acceso a la educación. A largo plazo, esto se ve reflejado en mayores oportunidades de empleo y mejores condiciones de vida, disminuyendo así la pobreza de manera gradual. En otras palabras, se centra tanto en el crecimiento económico, como en el bienestar social y el desarrollo humano.

El analfabetismo, por su parte, afecta todas las facetas de la vida de una persona. Las personas que no saben leer y escribir tienen una mayor probabilidad de vivir en la pobreza al tener una baja inclusión social, afectando su salud, autoestima, trabajo y seguridad personal. 

De acuerdo con la UNESCO, en América Latina se estima que 32 millones de personas no saben leer ni escribir, lo que representa un 4% de la población mundial. Aquí sus principales causas:

Baja escolaridad de los padres

Una de las principales causas reportadas, y directamente vinculadas con la falta de educación es la baja escolaridad de los padres en familias de clase media o baja. Este factor afecta al desarrollo de los hijos, perpetuando el ciclo de analfabetismo, y por ende generando pocas oportunidades para ellos en la sociedad. La importancia del entorno familiar en el desarrollo cognitivo del niño es clave, por lo tanto, se deben implementar mayores estrategias para fomentar el hábito de la lectura no solo en los niños sino también en los padres.

Condiciones socioeconómicas

Cómo la pobreza está ligada al analfabetismo en LatinoaméricaLos padres de niños provenientes de hogares cuyos ingresos corresponden a clases medias y altas, cuentan con un amplio acceso a libros, servicios educativos y herramientas tecnológicas como computadores e Internet. Por lo tanto los niños de familias de bajos ingresos sufren de una exclusión educativa al tener un acceso limitado o nulo a dichos recursos educativos. Asegurar equidad e inclusión en el ámbito educativo es muy importante para mejorar las oportunidades en la vida de cualquier individuo y reducir así los índices de pobreza en una sociedad.

Tasa de deserción 

La deserción escolar es el resultado de un proceso en el que intervienen múltiples factores y causas. Algunos son característicos de los estudiantes y de sus situaciones socioeconómicas, y se les denomina factores extraescolares. Otros por su parte son asociados a las insuficiencias del sistema educativo y se les conoce como factores intraescolares.

Alrededor del 37% de los estudiantes de bajos recursos que se matriculan en la escuela primaria, abandonan sus estudios antes de culminarlos, ya sea por problemas en su entorno familiar, falta de recursos económicos, desnutrición, o exclusión social. Esto provoca una interrupción en su desarrollo personal y académico propiciando una mayor tasa de analfabetismo.

En todo el panorama se puede observar un vínculo directo entre analfabetismo y pobreza especialmente en Latinoamérica. Es necesario implementar medidas para reducir las tazas de analfabetismo, una de ellas es asegurar una educación equitativa, inclusiva y de calidad para todos los niños sin importar su condición social.

Cómo la pobreza está ligada al analfabetismo en LatinoaméricaProgramas sociales como Aprende Leyendo, buscan fomentar el aprendizaje de habilidades lectoescrituras desde una temprana edad en niños en condiciones desfavorables. Apoyar iniciativas como esta para hacer parte de la solución es muy fácil.  Únete a su plataforma donando, participando como voluntario o ayudando a compartir sus mensajes en redes sociales. ¡Juntos podemos crear un futuro más prometedor y lleno de posibilidades para todos!

 

Thank You for showing your interest in Analfabetismo en latinoamérica.
 

Autora: Vanessa Caraveo

Fuentes:

EdTech in Latin America 1

EdTech is changing education in Latin America

According to the United Nations, a massive 94% of the world´s student population has been affected by COVID-19, with low to middle-income countries hardest hit. Many, including educators, are using technology to adapt to our new reality. One solution is EdTech which is changing education in Latin America.

EdTech is short for education and technology, where hardware or software and educational theory are combined to facilitate learning. The growing application of EdTech presents both benefits and challenges as we apply it to help children learn.

5 benefits of EdTech you didn’t know

EdTech in Latin AmericaAt Aprende Leyendo, we believe technology has the power to transform education at a low cost. It can help bring literacy to kids in disadvantaged situations where access to educational resources, internet, and electricity is scarce.

Some of the benefits of using technology in education include:

  • Increased student engagement
  • Improved digital literacy in the disadvantaged population
  • Low-cost solution breaking educational and digital gaps
  • Sustainable option
  • Increased student interaction

The Challenges of EdTech

According to The World Bank Group  (the largest education sponsor in developing countries), remote learning requires a re-imagination of education, but it’s fraught with challenges too.

Lack of training: Both parents and teachers play a fundamental role in engaging children to learn. It’s not enough to just upload educational content to a platform. Parents and teachers must be trained so they know how to use online learning resources and follow strategies to apply technology in the education process.

Hard to tailor education: Every child learns at a different pace. This needs to be kept in mind when creating digital content. It can be tricky to cater to unique needs and apply the same software to different student levels. EdTech should, therefore. always be considered as a learning tool but it will never replace the guidance of a good teacher.

Internet access issues: The World Economic Forum has found 43% of Latin Americans still don’t have Internet access! Providing free, reliable, and fast Internet connection in low-resourced schools is a big problem if we want to narrow the digital gap.

How Latin Americans are adopting EdTech

Despite the challenges, EdTech is reaching and educating more children in Latin America.

EdTech

COLOMBIA: At Aprende 

Leyendo, we recently launched Dingo app, – a digital learning tool pre-loaded with eBooks and literacy activities to develop children’s Spanish and English literacy skills. We’ve already seen children’s reading and engagement levels improve. With the support of the World Literacy Foundation, we plan to expand this project to indigenous children in La Guajira in northern Colombia.


ARGENTINA: 
Educ.ar is a platform for teachers and parents using digital learning. The website has a range of resources including daily lessons and teaching tools to boost digital education engagement.

PERU: The WAWA Laptop Project is using low-cost laptops that can be charged using solar-powered panels. This initiative, supported by different universities and local companies, aims to improve the quality of education in Peru and Latin America.

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for EdTech solutions to close the digital gap and help ensure all children have access to education during school shutdowns despite some challenges. We are excited to see what other digital tools emerge from this crisis to support education in Latin America and beyond.

 

Written by: Carolina Costa

Sources: