Impact Story: El Renacimiento School, Dominican Republic
Mr. Jhonny Julio Mejia worked in the public-school sector for several years in La Romana, Dominican Republic, before contributing all his time to establishing El Renacimiento School in 1995. The school started small, with 75 learners and 3 teachers, and classes from pre-school to 4th grade. As a result of Mr. Jhonny's hard work and dedication, the school now has 513 enrolled learners and 19 teachers, and provides lessons at pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels.
The school was initially established through personal loans and investment, where the funding was put towards purchasing the premises, constructing the infrastructure, and buying teaching and learning materials.
The school leader, Mr. Jhonny was contacted directly by Education Specialists and introduced to Opportunity International EduFinance. Upon hearing about the EduQuality program and what it entails, Mr. Jhonny said that his initial thought was, “This is what I want for my school”. Since then, he has been regularly following up with Education Specialists based in the Dominican Republic, and attending cluster meetings, which aim to create a support system between schools in an area.
The experience with the members of my cluster has been very good and satisfactory, I have felt at ease because I do not feel a rivalry between my fellow directors but rather an environment of collaboration, mutual growth, and help to our province, La Romana.” - Mr. Jhonny Mejia
The School Leadership Professional Development (SLPD) training provided by the EduQuality program has been useful to El Renacimiento School, as Mr. Jhonny found the sessions practical in improving the school’s current budgeting system. Additionally, El Renacimiento School has just implemented Teacher Mentor Professional Development (TMPD) training, where teacher mentors will provide training to their peers. The school is hopeful that this new material will help them grow professionally and develop their teaching methodologies.
El Renacimiento School is now taking steps toward implementing its development program. Their goals include increasing parent and community involvement, creating a cleaner and safer environment for learning, and implementing a firm child protection policy. The school leader, Mr. Jhonny expressed,
The EduQuality program has been a resurgence of new expectations for our school because they are giving us new tools to continue advancing towards educational quality. We are honored that institutions like Opportunity EduFinance set their sights on low-cost private schools like ours.” - Mr. Jhonny Mejia