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Sample subtitle in Gill Sans MAY 20, 2005 Transitioning to First Grade in El Salvador Challenges and Opportunities June 28, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Sample subtitle in Gill Sans MAY 20, 2005 Transitioning to First Grade in El Salvador Challenges and Opportunities June 28, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sample subtitle in Gill Sans MAY 20, 2005 Transitioning to First Grade in El Salvador Challenges and Opportunities June 28, 2007

2 El Salvador: National Education System Programming for families and children from birth to three scarce and solely focuses on health & nutrition 46% of young children ages 4-6 participate in Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs 89% net enrollment rate in primary school First grade presents the highest repetition and drop- out rates in primary school at 15% and 16% respectively 67% survival rate to fifth grade nationally, but estimates of 25% in rural areas Dramatic inequalities - rural/urban, poor/better off

3 Current Educational Priorities in El Salvador Universal access to kindergarten for six year olds – Juega Leyendo Throughout basic education a focus on: –Language – literate citizens –Mathematics – problem solving and logical reasoning Competencies based curriculum Assessment and results (testing continous assesment and formative assessment in 1st, 3 rd and 6 th grade)

4 Transition challenge – different cultures in ECD & First Grade ECD programs: Child seen as actor, subject, active Child can control own learning to some extent Focus on socialization and holistic development Learning through play and exploration Child progress measured against the individuals progress First grade: Child seen as object, recipient of curriculum, student or pupil, passive Teacher controls the learning Focus on academic achievement Learning through repetition and memorization Child progress measured against the curriculum and standards

5 First graders

6 Transition challenge – different home & school cultures Home: Closeness with caregiver Flexible schedule Autonomy from a young age Familiar social network Learning in context through observation and trial and error School: New caregiver Rigid schedule Taking direction from someone new New social network Learning out of context through memorization and repetition

7 Transitions Education – what is it? Helping to prepare children and their families for formal schooling, and Helping to prepare school for young children An articulation of ECD program or the home with First Grade

8 Early Childhood Development Programming Home and center based model Parent involvement key component Educators recruited from community and trained/supported by Save the Children Supporting national counterparts program models through technical assistance and materials Challenges High turnover of ECD educators

9 SCs Intervention – ECD practices in first grade Maximize the use of ECD resources –Use ECD infrastructure and materials for summer clubs for children who are going into first grade and for after school clubs in the second half of the year for children who are at risk of repeating first grade. Led by youth and/or ECD educators. Challenges –First grade teachers often want to see more drilling and repetition in after school clubs –Possible stigmatization of children –Too high demand, from higher grades, and from non- targeted children

10 SCs Intervention Welcome to School activities Simple activities that invite both children and their families to school before the start of the school year, first grade teacher to ECD centre, school picnic etc. Promote communication between ECD and first grade Involve the community in the education of their children at home and at school, extending their role beyond cleaning and cooking to participate in curriculum development and delivery, defining objectives, setting standards etc. Challenges Chaos at the start of the school year (intermittent attendance, lack of materials) Teacher rotation Parents being seen, and seeing themselves as equal partners in the process ECD educators being seen, and seeing themselves as important, skilled educators

11 SCs Intervention – ECD practices in first grade Promote learning corner methodology in first grade –Allows for children to regain some power in the classroom – autonomy of what/who they work with –Allows teachers to work with small groups –Allows children to work with and explore concrete materials –Already included as part of the national curriculum in El Salvador yet not functioning in the majority of schools Challenges –Sustainability – locally made low-cost materials essential –Scaling up – MINED has asked for learning corners implementation on a national scale, yet training has not been accounted for –Resistance to just play – teachers must be involved in play

12 Learning Corners Mathematics Social Studies Language

13 Sustainability Transitions education is now part of the national in-service teacher training program $87 cost per child Working with national partners to strengthen services and expand reach to the most vulnerable population

14 Lessons Learned Many of the challenges in transitions education, are similar to challenges in the ECD piece of the program but they are intensified at the primary school level due to the nature and scale of the system Community involvement is more challenging at the primary school level since teachers and schools are seen to have the monopoly on expertise Engaging the whole person – mind and heart – in a process of reflection and analysis can help break down the barriers, and enable everyone to focus on the goal – a better education for children

15 Results Ministry of Education seeking resources to implement learning corners nationally ECD training methodologies replicated with national partners Uptake of education component within health initiatives (AIN) Transitions education project part of national teaching training strategy 86% promotion rate for ECD program participants (5% drop-out, 9% repetition compared to 16% and 15% national rates)

16 Thank you! Children playing with puppets in one of the SC supported transitions education classrooms.

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