Tumac dressed in the colors of La Aldea

The Ciudadela Tumac Educational Institution dressed itself up as La Aldea. Enrique, Carmen, Lorena and many other characters now occupy a special place in some once-forgotten classrooms. We spoke with the director of the institute and he told us a little more.

“La Aldea in Tumac has been very important in strengthening the literacy processes and everything that has to do with orality. Literacy allows children to learn more easily and as La Aldea is a strategy based on stories, it has served the students a lot and will continue to have an impact on them in the future. Because ofthe impact of the strategy, we decided to transform the school. We decorated it, we painted it and this process was very significant.”

“This space had been relatively abandoned. Then, a large number of teachers and students were summoned to clean, tidy and beautify the place. They were very fun days, with a lot of hard work, but the students enjoyed it a lot. It’s very nice to see the walls like this, they were spaces that had been forgotten, as the school is quite large. Staying in this space now is nice and the kids have really enjoyed it. The appearance of the classroom changed completely, it was filled with color and it’s been very striking for the boys and girls.”

“La Aldea is not just a strategy for the pandemic or the return to school. It can and must be a continuous educational strategy. We are interested in using this material to support a fun learning experience for children”.

Miguel Merchán Moreno, school principal of the El Empalme educational institution

“Living in this remote corner of Ipiales, we are grateful to be part of La Aldea”

After Ipiales, Puerto Asís and Orito, we arrived at El Empalme educational institution, located in the township of Cofania Jardines de Sucumbíos, which is part of the city of Ipiales, bordering the Putumayo department.  In this township there are 3 afro-colombian community councils, 5 indigenous communities and 11 peasant communities. 

The school principal, Miguel Merchán Moreno, tells us why he decided to include the whole teacher community in the training process with La Aldea. He talks about the importance of this strategy for students and families. The work in this school started with only 5 teachers…today, there are 36 teachers participating in training sessions with Click advisors. 

“I decided to involve all the teachers, both from primary and secondary school, because I believe it’s essential that the whole teaching staff is familiarized with a strategy like La Aldea. It’s a tool that was specifically conceived to be used during the pandemic, a time in which children and teachers have had to face radical changes in their learning processes. First, with distance learning and now with the return to school. So La Aldea is perfect for students to begin their adaptation to the new system and going back to a sense of normalcy. Additionally, it is ideal for them to maintain a reading habit and explore different subjects. 

But La Aldea is not just a strategy for the pandemic or returning to school. It can and must be used as a continuous educational strategy. We are interested in using this material to support a fun learning experience for children. Today we can use and benefit from this tool thanks to the training provided by Click and UNICEF.

Living in this remote corner of Ipiales, surrounded by nature, we are grateful to be part of La Aldea. We say thank you in the name of all the parents and students that are in need of  support and educational materials for home education. That way, learning is not confined to the classroom, but can occur at home in a family environment. We are pleased to be taken into account. Our institution truly needs it”.

The teacher from Nariño using La Aldea to teach English

Adriana Álvarez participated in the training program for the implementation of La Aldea as a return to school and blended learning strategy. She tells us about her experience of using this tool in her classroom.

A vaccine against COVID-19, a bee guarding a heart, a syringe, a message of support for science… were some of the drawings and messages created by students in Adriana Alvarez’s classroom. She’s an english teacher, working at the Artemio Mendoza Carvajal school, in the town of San Juan de Pasto, in the Nariño department.

She decided to use La Aldea: Stories for a world in transition in order to improve student motivation and tackle subjects like health, self-care and the protection of life. “I have been using La Aldea to teach English, because it allows me to approach cross-cutting contents and secure my student’s attention to open up conversations on current subjects”, Adriana says.

According to the teacher, La Aldea has been useful because it enhances learning of a foreign language through the exploration of new and surprising subjects and activities. She has introduced meaningful reflections in her classroom, such as the importance of following health and safety protocols, ensuring the well-being of the school community and caring about others. As an English teacher, the strategy has been very useful for Adriana. But she thinks it could also be used in any other course.

La Aldea is a tool for everyone. With it you can teach mathematics, social sciences, english (…). And the best of all: it allows the development of beautiful academic projects where students can form their own ideas, not just to get a grade, but because they understand that learning and sharing is really worth it.

“With this educational strategy I want my students to look around them and recognize all the effort that has been made to improve the school facilities and to give them all they need to care for themselves and their families during the return to school”, the teacher points out. At the end, with the help of the characters in La Aldea, what she and her students have though about the most is that protecting life is much more than just a rule; it’s all about developing a mindset to understand that if I take care of myself, then I take care of others.

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