In March 2022, Opportunity International EduFinance announced the winners of the 2021 Education Quality Awards in Colombia. Read the full Awards Report here!
Colombia is currently one of 8 countries where EduFinance delivers the EduQuality program, which focuses on improving the quality of education learners receive through the Pathways to Excellence for school improvement planning tool, and school leadership professional development training.
In a ceremony that celebrated the success of all our school clusters in Colombia, three schools were awarded prizes and recognized for demonstrating the greatest levels of innovation and determination to improve the quality of education for their learners:
FIRST PRIZE: Liceo Cristiano mi Refugio Perfecto - Bogotá, Colombia
Recognized for implementing a holistic approach to child protection, engaging the full school community.
“In January 2019 we joined the EduQuality program and it has been an immense blessing for our educational community. We started with great enthusiasm knowing that we were being offered, free of charge, an innovative and very comprehensive proposal to improve our educational quality with international quality criteria, where we are provided with support with an emphasis on educational leadership, pedagogical, administrative and financial advice.
Since our beginnings with the program, we have analyzed our strengths and opportunities for improvement as an educational institution, this through the institutional self-assessment proposed by the Pathways to Excellence guide. …With this self-assessment, we moved forward to design and implement our School Development Plan, where we focused on Child Protection, Marketing and Branding, and Curriculum Development.” Director Damaris Esther Rojas Bravo – March 2022
Liceo Cristiano Mi Refugio Perfecto is part of the Generators of Change cluster in the town of Kennedy in Bogotá. There are 7 school members in Generators of Change and they have managed to establish a network of support and trust, where they work collaboratively, share experiences, seek creative solutions to different challenges and problems, and advance collective learning.
Liceo Cristiano Mi Refugio Perfecto focused their application on improvements they had made to Child Protection and Safeguarding, including how they took clear steps to engage and educate the entire education community on the importance of child protection, and how they used multiple tools and approaches to raise awareness in the community.
SECOND PRIZE: Colegio Atanasio Girardot - Barranquilla, Colombia
Recognized for taking a unique approach to inclusive education, testing and evaluating the impact of a series of activities with parents, teachers and students.
The Atanasio Girardot school joined the EduQuality program in 2018 and is part of the Unidos para la Excelencia cluster in Barranquilla. Unidos para la Excelenciahas 6 school members, where a culture of cooperation, teamwork, solidarity and the search for creative solutions to problems in their context are promoted.
Atanasio Girardot focused their application on Inclusive Education and identified improvements such as creating an inclusive education committee that includes training on different learning styles and developing individual learning plans for students, and using a scientific approach, testing multiple activities with a sample group addressing learning opportunities for children with ADHD.
THIRD PRIZE: Centro Educativo la Nueva Escuela del Futuro - Baranoa, Atlántico, Colombia
Recognized for taking steps to create a child protection policy and elevating this as a priority within the school.
Centro Educativo la Nueva Escuela del Futuro joined the EduQuality program in 2017 and is part of the Semilleros cluster with other member schools in Barranquilla, as well as municipalities such as Baranoa, Soledad, Usiacuri in the Atlantic and Cartagena. These 10 schools members prioritize: collaboration, empathy, solidarity support, cooperative work, development of knowledge, sharing of experiences and the establishment of support networks to face challenges together.
Centro Educativo la Nueva Escuela del Futuro gave child protection as their primary focus and described how they established a team to lead the child protection process and advance the drafting of a policy, as well as how they developed a training program plan on the topic of child protection.
Education Quality Awards Process - Colombia 2021
New waves of COVID-19 continued into 2021, forcing additional temporary school closures across many of the countries Opportunity EduFinance works in. However, despite the many challenges, our Colombia EduQuality school partners were able to continue engaging families and students through in-person, hybrid and virtual learning models, while also fully participating in the EduQuality program.
In line with our aim to continue improving access to quality education, our Colombia school partners were offered the opportunity to apply for the 2021 EduQuality Colombia awards, sharing a specific quality improvement achievement they were proud of resulting from the EduQuality program and from their peer schools.
To be eligible for the award, schools were required to be active participants in the EduQuality program, including participating in school leadership workshops, cluster meetings and writing a school development plan prioritizing key areas for improvement. Schools then submitted an application describing one area they targeted for improvement, the action steps they took and the outcome, as well as evidence of their implementation activities.
Award winners received a cash prize and plaque for their school to showcase their achievement and dedication to offering quality education. Opportunity EduFinance is proud of what the school leaders and teaching staff of these prizewinning schools have accomplished, and we look forward to seeing them progress further in future years.
As part of the presentations Andrew McCusker, Head of EduFinance said:
We’re grateful to our EduQuality partner schools in Colombia and school leaders who took the opportunity to submit applications for these awards. I speak on behalf of our team when I say it is an honor to read these applications detailing the tireless work you have all carried out.
Today we recognize three school leaders who demonstrated excellence, commitment and strong child protection practices and involved their full school communities in inclusive education which engages all learners proactively.”