The programme 'Schools as Actors of Change' (Escuelas Gestoras del Cambio - EGC) aids the Ministry of Education in the realisation of its ten-year plan (2006-2015). Amongst others, it improves the pre-service training and the in-service tutoring of primary education teachers. In addition, the programme helps with the modernisation of the inspection service. For that, the programme is dedicated to practical research to help the education policy. 'Learning' is important in this programme.
The programme kicked of in 2008 with an extensive environmental research in ten selected provinces. The aim was to be able to make a decent choice of schools and to activate the cooperation of all parties involved. This was done by means of a participative research whereby involving the new interdisciplinary work groups of the board of education in the respective provinces. The research has identified 82 learning communities. They are comprised of 2095 teachers, 56,926 students and 486 schools. 82 of these schools have a specific valuable pedagogical experience (e.g. in the field of environmental education, mathematics and language education, parent involvement,...).
Target of the programme
Escuelas Gestoras del Cambio supports the Ministry of Education and the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SENESCYT) to attain these specific goals:
- strengthening Continuing Professional Development;
- increasing the quality of initial teacher training;
- improving the system of educational inspection and supervision.
Hereby the programme wants to pursue efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability via organisation-wide learning.
Escuelas Gestoras del Cambio is the result of a cooperation between VVOB, the Ministry of Education and SENESCYT. The programme provides a complete and integrated answer to the different challenges in the primary education system faced by the country.
First half of the programme
In the first half of the programme (2008-2010) VVOB worked in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the National Council of Higher Education and a national team of civil servants from different divisions. Furthermore, ten provincial teams have been set up. Every provincial team had representatives of the divisions Curriculum, Primary Education, Supervision, Teacher Training, etc. These teams had to make the link between the central level and the (networks of) schools that participate in the programme. VVOB strengthened these teams in the systematisation of experiences, plans, facilitation of workshops; and in their monitoring and evaluation.
VVOB also cooperated with fifteen teacher training institutes and several universities. Ten institutional plans were developed in cooperation with VVOB. Five inter-institutional work groups developed plans for different themes: teachers’ profile, curriculum, internships, interculturality and organisational structure. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education the programme also realised a new model for supervision.
Second half of the programme
In the second half of the programme VVOB works more on a central level and in the entire country. The previous experiences in the provinces help to preserve the relationship with the local level; however most activities are now situated at the level of national actors: the Ministry of Education and SENESCYT. Examples of actions are:
- developing user guides for mathematics in primary education (teacher training);
- supporting the establishment of the National University of Education;
- implementing the new model for educational inspection and supervision.
Some results achieved
- Systematising 74 meaningful experiences in schools that are a part of the programme. Realisation of a publication and website in connection with these pedagogic experiences. The process contributes to the reflection on methodology and strategy concerning educational innovation in Ecuadorian schools.
- Realisation of an international event for ‘Education and Innovation’, where different public and non-governmental actors and their ‘best practices’ and innovation processes were presented.
- Development of a workshop for the production of educational videos, with participants from provincial teams. The goal is that they keep systematising and disseminating their ‘school examples’.
- Supporting the coordination group (Ministry of Education, UNESCO and VVOB) in setting up the start-up of the new National University of Education. An initial project proposal is developed through participation in the coordination group, with contributions from external consultants and a study visit to Flanders.
- Realisation of two national forums for 200 participants each and five multi-day workshops with representatives of all 28 teacher training institutes. Results of these meetings: a digital system for self-evaluation developed in a participatory manner, with results for improvement-plans and training activities in relation to curriculum, educational research, didactics and leaderships. Indian and Spanish teacher training institutes are better aligned with national politics and are more capable of reflecting on the training programmes of new teachers.
- As a result of networking activities, there is more mutual alignment between the Ministry of Education, the new Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (agreement concerning the digital platform), several universities (acting as centres of expertise) and the network for teacher trainings ‘Red Kipus’.
Educational inspection and supervision
- Organisation of a study visit to Flanders in October 2010 for educational authorities of the inspection and guidance services of the Ministry of Education and provincial representatives. The goal of the visit was to acquire insight in the inspection and guidance model and its applications in Flanders.
- Realisation of an international event for ‘Educational inspection and supervision’ in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Subject: trends in connection with pedagogic support and supervision.
- Support by the Ministry of Education in the participatory development of a National Model for Inspection and Supervision.