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Education as an agent of transformation

Education as an agent of transformation

Monday, 30 de October de 2017

The launching of Rota do Saber or the Route of Knowledge wants to change the reality of the students – from copycats to thinkers

Thirty thousand students and 1,100 teachers from Pernambuco and Paraí­ba are following together a new path for the future; a path that begins in the municipal schools, starting with the teachers, then the students, the family and, consequently, the community. Everyone is driven by the Rota do Saber, a continuing education program, formalized on Thursday (19), and developed by Jeep – a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) company. The program is transforming the reality of six cities in the interior of the two northeastern states and for this achievement it counts on a partnership of three entities: public authorities, private initiatives and non profit organizations.

Developed in partnership with Magneti Marelli – a company that is also part of the FCA group -, the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico (the National Bank for Economic Development or BNDES), the Institute of Educational Quality (IQE) and the municipalities, the Rota do Saber aims at contributing with the improvement in the quality of elementary education in the cities of Goiana, Igarassu, Paulista and Itambaú, as well as Alhandra and Caaporã, in Paraí­ba. The focus is on the qualification of educators and managers, based on a broad diagnosis which takes place within the educational network, by identifying the main priorities. Over a period of 3 years, every 6 months students undergo an evaluation that can identify proficiency in subjects such as Portuguese and Mathematics. This diagnosis is used as a guide.

“FCA maintains, on a permanent basis, training and qualification programs for our employees and we believe that what works within the company also applies to the outside world, that is, the community we are part of. The value we give to education around the Jeep Automotive Plant is the same that we want to see spread beyond our walls”, says João Ciaco, Communications, Marketing and Sustainability Director at FCA for Latin América.

The program begins with a broad diagnosis of the municipal education network, evaluating the knowledge and skills of the benefited students. This is where the student’s potential and main difficulties are identified. With this panorama, the entire qualification stage will be structured on the focus for solving each detected problem – in each school, each class and each student.

Rota do Saber geral

“Investing in Education is a strategic choice for FCA. It’s difficult. Education requires a long ripening time, but at the same time it is an investment in the future and a responsible vision of our investment for the community,” added Ciaco.

With Rota do Saber teachers learn to incorporate content through successful methodologies and become capable of engaging parents in the role of co-educators for their children. In addition to certifying educators who teach Portuguese and Mathematics as well as Teaching Methodologies, the directors of the school units receive school management advice. The teams are also supported in the implementation of a learning assessment system for all students; in the development of school reinforcement programs; and building more participatory management in schools.

“In my15 years of profession, I had never seen teachers and directors so enthusiastic as I see them now, despite all the difficulties we see in public schools. The students’ lives are also changing. Before, they were missing classes at least twice a week. Today, there are practically no absences, because they are more interested in learning and in becoming more confident, critical with more prospectives for life”, says teacher Helena Castilho, 49.

At Jeep we yearn for the program, after three years, be incorporated as public policy in the municipalities and as part of a long-term planning. “As soon as the proposal was presented, I found it very interesting and I wanted to implement it with the children and teenagers of my city. In six months we have already seen positive results as well as more students engaged in school. We will go City Hall to see how a public policy can be implemented in the educational system from this experience, “says the mayor of Caaporã (PB), Kiko Monteiro (PDT).

Within the Index of Basic Education Development (Ideb), (the main indicator of quality in education in this country), which expresses in values the learning outcomes and the approval rates of public school students, our goal is to reach an average of 6 by 2021on a scale ranging from zero to ten. The average corresponds to the level of developed countries.

The grade, however, shows that in 2015 the initial years (1st to 5th year) the result of 5.5 was reached. The final years, from the 6th to the 9th year, a grade of 4.5 was registered. According to the teacher and Master in Didactics of Science, Vasco Moretto, Rota do Saber gives municipalities a fundamental proposal for the future of the country, which is to transform the “copycat student into a thinking student.”

“It is through the teacher that we will have this type of student. If the municipality wants change it has to offer continuing education for educators, and this is what the Rota do Saber proposes and it’s extraordinary “, says the expert.

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