In the middle of the pandemic I faced a challenge of not having the resources to work remotely. As a response, I have used the app ‘Be the One’ with my students, who believe English is boring, but are now motivated.
English teacher at la Livio Reginaldo school, Riohacha
Ministry of Education
To support more equal access to quality education through active work with English teachers across four areas: large-scale teacher development, design and implementation of contents and resources, mentoring, and a robust approach to monitoring and evaluation.
In Colombia, there is a significant gap between private and public education. Whereas 70 per cent of students in the private sector reach B1 and B2 levels by graduation, only 4 per cent of students in the public sector achieve this goal. Public education institutions often have large groups of around 45 students receiving only two hours a week of English instruction. Developed alongside the MoE, the programme intends to close the gap by providing less-privileged students with high-quality resources and support teachers to manage classes within their capacity. As these actions will only produce results in the long-term, there is still the need to suggest wider changes at system level.
The four-year programme aims to reach 8,000 English teachers, starting with 1,500 in 2019, 2,000 in 2020, 3,000 in 2021 and around 1,500 in 2022. These target figures are part of three main lines of intervention:
- A training programme with an online learning focus that includes online training, autonomous learning and work with mentors
- A mentoring strategy that promotes collaboration amongst teachers and institutions to strengthen English Language Teaching
- Use and implementation of resources in English classes through the support of a mentor.
This last activity includes the use of high and low-tech resources including; ‘Be the One Challenge’ digital app and ECO Radio 2,0 an initiative comprised of 44 episodes to reach students in remote areas.
Teaching for Success has had a direct impact on the professional lives of around 6,500 English Teachers and their students. Following evaluation of the programme, the results revealed that teachers have not only grasped the concept of professional development but have also been able to transfer this knowledge to their teaching practice:
A total of 85 per cent of participating English teachers have demonstrated greater mastery of skills in designing, planning, and implementing student-centred pedagogical activities. A further 64 per cent demonstrated greater mastery of collaborative, autonomous and direct learning techniques
Over 90 per cent of teachers who completed the training process managed to design learning guides for remote delivery. Those guides included formative evaluation strategies to promote learning at home in the framework of the health emergency declared by the National Government
250,000 individuals have downloaded the digital app, whereby the progress of 80,000 students can also be monitored through the dashboard.
By providing education systems in Colombia with UK expertise, Teaching for Success contributes to the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) main goal to support inclusive, quality teaching and learning that also increases primary and secondary level standards.
In the last five years, the programme has influenced the development of local policy and reached almost 6,000 teachers through direct training or mentoring. It has also supplied English textbooks for vulnerable populations, a digital application aimed to enhance English language proficiency, and a radio programme to reach students in remote areas.
These actions were made possible by the partnerships created with the UK publishing sector and institutions that have opened doors to around 160 Colombian educators to receive professional development in the UK.