Program for unschooled children and youth between 9 and 18 years due to social marginalized context and vulnerability which they live in. They are given the required formation for their subsequent insertion in formal education. This is an educative initiative led by the San Ignacio Social Catholic Organization (OSCASI).
Since 1991, this initiative arose as a response to high ratios of children deprived of schooling (out of the formal education system) that belong to disadvantaged social classes. It was organized with multidisciplinary work teams, integrated by beneficiaries of the community and specialists from different areas (sociologists, psychologists, engineers, educators, etc.) to generate an attractive, inclusive methodology that would involve adults from where the program was going to be executed so they could be trained and community work to create a school in each sector with unschooled children and adolescents could be started.
Mission: To support grassroots communities by promoting human improvement, by promoting social action of the educational community of San Ignacio School.
Vision: Being the executive arm of social action in the educative community of San Ignacio School, a social development organization, non-profit based, acknowledged, dynamic and innovative, ignatian carism catholic, solid and stable, national referent in alternative education through its school network and community work.
Urban Local Level: In Petare, Sucre Municipality, Metropolitan Area of Caracas, Miranda State in Venezuela, with a population around 600,000. Petare area is divided into sectors composed of informal housing, quite precarious urban services that are characterized by high levels of marginality, its congestion and / or overcrowding, with scarcity and poor public services and urban roads.
BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHICH POPULATION GROUP THE ACTIVITY WAS DIRECTED TOWARDS
Many children and youth who attend alternative schools, outside the formal education system, are workers and others, displaced children. They have a personalized attention. The population that ended the 2013-2014 year was of 260 approx. persons (for the characteristics of the program, the amount is variable throughout the school year).
Teachers (which in our case are called educational developers) come from the same communities served, with their own problems and shortcomings, to train and motivate them to do their teaching career. There are about 50 people.
Parents and guardians are advised promptly of their rights and duties, and are invited to lectures on various topics. Many are displaced persons.
The School’s community seeks to provide various services (legal, health, etc.)
At-school, personal attention to level them to Primary and to be inserted (depending on age) for secondary or other training. To Promoters, initial teacher training and tools for managing the various disciplines since they are no graduated teachers. Nonformal education for both students and promoters (varying each year depending on offers and necessities).
Aim of the program
The Guiding Principles refer to the way the Alternative Schools focus teaching on the comprehensive training of students to achieve competence in all areas, based on the characteristics of its educational model of humanistic conception, personalizing and socioconstructivist education and humanistic and Christian oriented values linked to Ignatian pedagogy, as well as the concept of work as a source of realization of human happiness.
We want graduates:
- With the following skills: a) Mathematics in order to use and relate numbers, basic operations and mathematical reasoning to solve problems of everyday life. b) Linguistic communication to communicate orally and in writing in everyday life and in the school context to express their understanding of reality. c) Social and citizen to live in a democratic society, exercise their rights and duties, defend the rights of others and contribute to building a free, fair and caring society. d) In the interaction with the physical world, both in its natural aspects and in those generated by human action, including the assessment of their overall health, protection of all life and environmental conservation.
- With: e) Christian Education to love in all situations and serve with and for others. f) Motivation to continue their lifelong learning.
- Also basic skills in exploring professions that allow the employment in an area of interest.
The specific objectives of OSCASI for the “Alternative Education” program are:
- To coordinate care of children and adolescents in comprehensive education, health, legal and recreation areas by coordinating with other OSCASI programs and alliances that develop and evaluate with other organizations.
- To plan, implement and to evaluate plans for educational innovation, skills when searching professions and upgrading of Alternative Schools.
- To align the annual Alternative Schools planning of all aspects and monitor their implementation.
- To plan, implement and to evaluate staff training plans of Alternative Schools and Coordination, according to the needs identified in the accompaniment.
- To promote school-community integration through joint activities that strengthen community development.
- To evaluate the performance of the Alternative Schools and to prepare relevant reports to report to the General Coordination of OSCASI, the Board and allied institutions.
What it is doing
Academically, the Alternative Schools are organized into three levels that correspond to two degrees of the official program. This is done so that the student, who could be outdated in age with other children or adolescents who attend regular schools, do not feel disadvantaged. The expectation is that each child can make primary education in a period that would not exceed three (3) academic years.
The maximum number of children treated at each level is up to ten (10) students per Pedagogical Promoter. The location of the promoter, the level and students is done, not in desks, but in a table which performs a horizontal interaction. This type of organization supports the proximity of the promoter with students, the cooperative learning and sharing of resources, and facilitates personalized education.
As for health, the School provides (according to the turn in which they are) breakfast and snack or lunch to students and promoters. The OSCASI clinic provides dental care to students, their families and community members. Vaccination campaigns, screening for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. are also supported.
In terms of recreation, a holiday camps for students, children of staff and community members takes place annually, pool parties, sports, cultural and folkloric events are held during the school year.
Desde nuestras Escuelas Alternativas se promueve el Desarrollo Humano-Cristiano mediante acciones formadoras y evangelizadoras. Se trabaja en equipo con la Parroquia y se vela porque los valores estén presentes como eje transversal en todas las acciones. Se lleva la catequesis tanto escolar como sacramental, por lo que hemos realizado bautizos, primeras comuniones y confirmaciones.
From our Alternative Schools a Christian Human Development is promoted by forming and evangelizing. We together with the Parish in order to ensure values are presented mainstreaming in all actions. Both formal and sacramental Catechesis is supported, so we have made baptisms, first communions and confirmations.
What it is achieved
The amount of target population has changed over time. Alternative schools are thought to serve the unschooled population; if the community level work is done well, there comes a time when it is no longer required because there is full school attendance and children enter school at the age they deserve. At this time, the school can become formal, it is given to the community and we should start working at another location that has people outside the school system. Since its inception, we have had between one and five schools simultaneously, depending on needs and availability of spaces and people with motivation to be responsible for solving problems in their environment (unschooling). We have handed over three of them.
Throughout the existence of the program, 900 youth persons have graduated. Approximately an 80% of them achieved zoning themselves in secondary school and a 20% of them, above the legal age, has been located into various offers for adult training or employment.
The program has suffered from several changes since its inception, updating and adapting itself to the changing realities of the environment.
 The dimensions that constitute the integral education, according to the Educational Proposal of the Society of Jesus, are assumed: Ethics, Spiritual, Cognitive, Affective, Communicative, Cosmetics, Body and Sociopolitical