Funding Fit for the Bosawas

We are excited to announce that the Technology and Training for Quality and Equality project in the Bosawás Region of Nicaragua has received support from the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT), a fund generously supported by Global Affairs Canada and the Inter Council Network.

This project will use a technology-enabled, innovative, off-line training program and digital resource library to overcome geographic, contextual, and cultural barriers to improve the quality and reach of education in extremely remote Miskito and Mayagna indigenous communities – currently the most impoverished populations in Central America.

Barriers such as isolation, lack of resources, poor health conditions, child malnutrition and child labor exacerbate the lack of access to education in a region with the lowest literacy rates in Nicaragua, especially amongst women and girls. Historically, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have represented one more service from which residents are marginalized and one more tool that they cannot access.

This project is going to change that!

This project extends the reach of information technology — of education, directly impacting 80 teachers who will receive training and their 1800 students who will benefit from technology in their classrooms. The entire population of the BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve (32,000+) will in turn be touched by the results.

The FIT commitment means that $50,000 raised by Change for Children will be met with $250,000 in funding. Every $1 raised will be matched 5 times!

Building on Success

This initiative builds on the health, economic development, and education projects that Change for Children has supported in the region over the past 20 years. This project is designed to empower youth and prepare them for success by enhancing the capacity of local schools to deliver quality and relevant formal basic education.

Teacher Training

The majority of the teachers have little or no formal teacher training. Some teachers only have a grade six education. A Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC), made available off-line and adapted to the cultural and linguistic context, will provide the opportunity for teachers (largely female) to improve their pedagogy, including the capacity to emphasize 21st century skills in their classrooms and increase the diversity and quality of educational resources used.

Educational Resources

The schools in the region are very poorly resourced, and lack textbooks and libraries. Creative teachers do what they can with few resources and locally available supplies; however, the deficit is a contributing factor in the poor quality of education and resulting low student performance in the region. The impoverished character of these communities means that families have little extra to contribute to the education of their children. This project will provide four of the region’s largest indigenous communities each with a Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) consisting of a digital library of resources uploaded to a Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning (RACHEL) and a class set of Chromebooks to access the content.

Gender Equality Promotion

Women teachers, who are on average less educated and face more barriers to advancing their careers, will have access to high quality professional development in their home communities. Gender equality will be promoted within the classroom through the use of innovative resource materials available on the RACHEL which build awareness about human rights, gender equity and equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender-based violence.

Solar Power

Communities in the Bosawas are not only outside the reach of road access, but are also without electricity. The introduction of technology to remote schools includes investment in solar energy systems to power equipment and charging stations in support of long term project viability.

 

In Canada Central America and the Caribbean Nicaragua Education Indigenous Peoples