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aprende leyendo world literacy foundation featured

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:

  • https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-45453102
  • https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/132090671.pdf
  • https://www.scielo.br/pdf/pee/v16n2/a03v16n2.pdf
  • https://www.cepal.org/es/publicaciones/7192-america-latina-rostros-la-pobreza-sus-causas-determinantes
  • https://rieoei.org/historico/documentos/rie30a02.htm#:~:text=La%20informaci%C3%B3n%20disponible%20indica%20que,de%20completar%20la%20educaci%C3%B3n%20primaria
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:

  • https://www.weforum.org/agenda
  • https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic
  • https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/edutech
  • https://www.educ.ar/ 
  • https://aprendeleyendo.com/dingo-app
  • https://www.wawaperu.org/
banner leadership

Leadership, Advocacy & Global Citizenship

WLF Ambassador Program empowers individuals around the globe to be change-makers.

With young leaders like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai taking to the world stage, we can see the power and potential in developing the leadership and advocacy skills of the global citizens who want to do no less than changing the world. How better to help the leaders of tomorrow flourish and thrive than through education?

The benefits of promoting leadership

Educators, schools, workplaces, and organizations are in a position not only to inspire future leaders but equip them with the skills, networks, and experience they need. Literacy empowers children, and once empowered, children can grow to lead their communities towards shared goals for development.

How can we develop leadership?

The World Literacy Foundation’s Ambassador Program is a fantastic platform for participants to advocate for the eradication of illiteracy by joining a network of like-minded people; gaining leadership, communication, fundraising, and PR skills; and feeling empowered to have an impact on our global community.

Other ways to cultivate leadership

We can also encourage young individuals to develop leadership skills through group projects, giving students responsibility for tasks or decisions, involving them in extracurricular activities, modeling, explicitly explaining leadership behaviors, and leadership programs that cultivate the skills and experience needed to make an impact.

Importance of global citizenship

Guiding learners to engage with the world as global citizens is important for teaching them empathy, understanding, and promotion of human rights, as well as preparing them for an increasingly globalized further education and employment climate.

Growing global citizens

The first step towards creating global citizens is creating literate populations. Aprende Leyendo, the fundraising focus of this year’s WLF Ambassador Program, uses the project “Dingo App” to deliver locally-tailored content to empower students to be global citizens through literacy.

 

This is a fantastic initiative of the World Literacy Foundation to provide children from low-income backgrounds in Colombia the means and opportunity to learn valuable literacy skills in both Spanish and English and prepare them to take an active role in their communities.

Other strategies to grow global citizens

Educators around the world are using strategies such as forming digital networks, engaging students in collaborative projects, and prompting students to question and understand the world around them, to equip learners to become active global citizens. Literate, empowered, and impassioned children will become leaders in their communities and the world.

If interested in participate in the WLF Ambassador and speak up for those who cannot read and write, register now at https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/

*The WLF Ambassador Program registrations will close on June 14, 2020.

 

Written by: Ashley Emmerton

Image Sources:

Other sources:

  • https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
  • https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/
  • https://www.classcraft.com/blog/features/
  • https://www.educationworld.com/
  • https://theconversation.com/
  • https://aprendeleyendo.com/dingo-app/
  • https://www.coolcatteacher.com/students-global-citizen/
  • https://www.globalcollaborationweek.org/
  • https://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/
Storytelling header

Ways Storytelling Changes Children’s Worlds

Storytelling changes children’s worlds because it helps them learn new ideas and develop their identity to set them up for life. 
When we tell a story, children can find new ways to interpret ideas and situations about the world. In a fairytale, for example, a child can step into a character’s shoes or examine the plot through the language and imagination depicted in the story and related images in the book. This helps them understand and interpret their own ideas or point of view about the story. They can then relate these to situations in their own lives. Lois Lowry’s fiction masterpiece,  The Giver , explores how novels can develop individuality, broaden ideas and create change.

Storytelling can develop an identity

As children begin to relate to characters and the plot, which may sometimes mirror their own lives, they can cultivate their own identities. The children can form opinions about situations in the story, their own  preferences  of story genres or develop ideas about their own  morals . This can help them establish  individual ways of interpreting their own lives  in the real world. recent article in Texas  explored how racially-aware storytelling helped African-American children develop more positive racial identities

Programs changing children’s worlds 

The  World Literacy Foundation  recognizes the benefits of storytelling and has programs to make books available to children all over the world. Projects like  Aprende Leiendo  in South America,  Reading Out of Poverty  in Australia  and  Michigan Reads  in the USA, help ensure the power of storytelling is fostered in as many children as possible.

Storytelling Changes Children’s Worlds – The way forward

Storytelling can change children’s lives and make the world a better place as they develop their own ideas and identities. They can  contribute their unique sense of self  to their communities and the world as they continue to grow. Let’s share stories with children as often as possible.

Written by: Rida Safeer
Edited by: Eliana Furnari

header second language

Benefits of Learning a Second Language at an Early Age

l3Learning a second language at an early age can present some challenges but is well worth the effort because there are many benefits. Understanding the intricacies of more than one language as early as possible is great for children throughout their lives!

The earlier they learn the better

It is much easier for young children to learn a new language than adults because this is when their brains begin to develop. The early years are a vital period when cognitive skills and connections are formed which learning a second language can enhance. Their level of perception and inquisitiveness improves and helps them learn more rapidly in every area.

It enhances creativity and academic achievement

According to research, children who acquire a second language at an early age are more creative than their counterparts who only communicate in their native tongue. It has also been found the cognitive skills they learn can lead to better academic outcomes.

It increases employabilityl2

As children grow, being bilingual can also boost their employability. When a child learns a new language at an early age, the likelihood of achieving more in their desired field in later life increases significantly. Organizations often employ people who can speak second languages so they can connect with people from different backgrounds who interact with their business.

It improves acceptance of cultural differences

A bilingual child is more likely to appreciate diversity and accept cultural differences. Exposure to more than one language can help them embrace different ways of life by providing insights beyond just language as they learn about different ethnic backgrounds.

One way the World Literacy Foundation is helping children learn second languages through its Sun Books and Dingo App initiatives. These programs give disadvantaged children in Africa and Colombia access to digital education in English and their local language.

The many benefits of learning a second language mean it’s a powerful way to improve how children can contribute to society throughout their lives.

All children deserve this opportunity!

Written by: Vanessa Caraveo

Edited by: Eli Furnari

Sources: