Enseña Chile highlights IAPB strategy

25 •  Sep •  2020

As a result of the health emergency that has been affecting the country since march, nearly 3.5 million students in elementary and middle school have had to continue their academic year from a distance. This has meant a great challenge for school communities, especially those working in highly vulnerable contexts, forcing them to seek new strategies and work together to prevent one of the main threats of distance education: school dropout.

In this scenario, Fundación Enseña Chile highlighted this week on its website the work done by the Instituto Agrícola Pascual Baburizza (IAPB) in Calle Larga, Valparaíso Region. This establishment is a private, subsidized, non-profit high school, whose sponsor is the Luksic Educational Foundation, which provides technical-professional agricultural and livestock training at the intermediate level.

The IAPB has successfully managed to ensure the learning of its 434 students through a close bond between teachers and students, in addition to a personalized work model that the institute has been applying for years, and which in the context of the emergency has proved to be very beneficial.

One of the stories that Enseña Chile highlighted is Nicolás Rodríguez, a first year student at the school. After going through several schools, and living negative experiences in the process, he entered the IAPB this year. At the beginning of the pandemic, he lost interest in learning and put aside his studies. However, one day he received an unexpected visit: “When I thought I had lost this year, my mother told me that I had to start again and from one day to the next the director came to see me at my house. I appreciate that very much because the things he told me motivated me: I have to finish the year, I have to pass the course. I didn’t expect them to come to my house,” said Nicolás.

Precisely the strategy of home visits is part of the solutions that the Instituto Agrícola Pascual Baburizza uses to re-enchant those students who have distanced themselves from their education this year. Camila Varas, head of the school’s UTP, pointed out that this action “redefines the fact of being a school: it is not only going to a place to receive knowledge, but a learning experience in community, where you, the student, are the main focus. If you are not there, we miss you and we come to pick you up at your home”.

Innovation in learning: Serf educational model

The measure of visiting students at home to ensure that they continue their learning goes hand in hand with the Serf educational model applied by the institute. This educational strategy is based on students developing their own Personal Study Plan, focused on developing their potential, cultivating a passion for learning according to their interests and respecting individual learning rhythms.

In this way, it focuses its work on the development of skills such as autonomy, the social subject and explicit lifelong learning. To this end, it works in a differentiated way with each of the youngsters, with adapted subjects that favor autonomous work by the students and personalized follow-up by the teachers. According to the experience of this establishment, its model has allowed an easier transition to distance education.

“The young people are happy and feel that the teachers and the whole team are with them, that we really care. The link in this has been essential and to maintain it, you have to be connected with them and not only focus on academics, but also how they are and how they feel,” reflected Irma Magnan, a teacher at Enseña Chile who teaches soil and irrigation classes in the school’s Agricultural specialty.

Additionally, in the context of the Covid-19 health emergency, the Luksic Educational Foundation created a support program for the families of the Instituto Agrícola Pascual Baburizza. This initiative, run by a multidisciplinary team, seeks to help prevent contagion, provide guidance on care and hygiene measures and disseminate advice to help parents and students manage stress and anxiety during the pandemic.