Today, on Teacher’s Day in El Salvador, the spotlight shines on the educators who have experienced tangible changes and benefits brought about by the educational reform known as Mi Nueva Escuela. Launched by President Nayib Bukele in September 2022, this reform aims to transform the country’s education system, with teachers playing a central role in its implementation.
One of the key strategies of this reform has been the distribution of computers to 100% of public sector teachers. These devices are equipped with the necessary tools tailored to their needs, including touch screens, internet connectivity, high-resolution cameras, and increased memory capacity, among other features. According to teachers, this initiative has had a significant impact on their teaching practices, enabling them to develop pedagogical methods, create more comprehensive lessons, incorporate digital tools, diversify assessments, and undertake various other actions to enhance the learning experience.
Frescia Guadalupe Pineda, director of the Preschool Education School in La Libertad, located near the waterfront of La Libertad port, emphasized the positive impact of connectivity in schools and the provision of laptops on the teaching and continuous professional development process. “Before the president’s strategies, we worked using our mobile data. However, President Nayib Bukele provided us with computers, which helped us tremendously since the laptops we had at home were meant for our children. This action is part of the dignification of teachers by providing us with high-quality technological tools. Now, there are no excuses for not keeping ourselves updated with the latest pedagogical resources,” expressed Pineda, who has been teaching for 29 years.
Another significant change brought about by the reform is the implementation of more inclusive methodologies based on the rights of both students and teachers. Additionally, the “Crecer Juntos” law provides technical tools for teachers to support their professional growth. “The ‘Crecer Juntos’ law supports the teaching profession and the well-being of children and parents. It aims to create a safe and welcoming environment in schools. The new regulations have an excellent focus,” stated the teacher.
The government has also provided complementary pedagogical resources, such as the “La Casa de Lula” program, which supports the curriculum in early education centers. This program addresses topics such as friendship and values, helping children establish guidelines for peaceful coexistence. The renewal of school infrastructure is another crucial aspect of the educational reform, which has greatly benefited the teaching profession.
At the La Libertad preschool, which is approaching its 50th anniversary, teachers had never had their own restroom and had been using the children’s facilities. However, with the school’s renovation, educators now have appropriate sanitary facilities tailored to their needs. “Basic as it may seem, we didn’t even have that here. By having suitable spaces for students and teachers, the educational rights to coexist in dignified environments are respected,” highlighted the director.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education offers continuous professional development opportunities for teachers through free online courses on digital tools, mental health, participation, leadership, and other relevant topics. During the pandemic, all educators received training on digital tools.
The educational reform, Mi Nueva Escuela, has proven to be a significant milestone in transforming education in El Salvador. By empowering teachers with technological resources, improving infrastructure, and promoting inclusive methodologies, the reform has dignified the teaching profession and provided students with enhanced learning experiences. As El Salvador celebrates Teacher’s Day, it is a fitting occasion to recognize the remarkable contributions of educators and the positive impact they have made in shaping the future of the country.