Making Strides with the Ministry of Education

CREE  Oct 30, 2017 Meeting with Intibucá MOE

Attendees: Doña Suyapa, Region Director MOE; Paul Manship, Laura Manship, Sandy Carey, Grace Twohig of Hombro a Hombro; and Dick Buten of Shoulder to Shoulder

Dick Outlined our meeting objectives.  Our purpose is to organize a cooperative project to improve the quality of education in Southern Intibucá, specifically how HaH might assist the achievement of MOE goals.  This is a follow up to our kick off meeting at the Maya in February.  It is important that this project is fully integrated with MOE and assist in the achievement of its mission and goals.  But before we talk the project, we want to develop a clear understanding of what is important to MOE.

Suyapa summarized her priorities as Math, Spanish, Technology, and English.  She wants help in training teachers, especially in the use of technology.

Grace summarized our recent activity including 35 school visits.  We are running full pilots in the bilingual school, the Camasca Colegio, Magdalena colegio, the Camasca Urbana.  We are also testing in Santa Lucia.  This has generated positive reports back to Suyapa.

Sandy demonstrated to Suyapa the new Kolibri platform to Suyapña.  It features increased educational scope from other content providers beyond Khan Academy, lower cost, and reduced complexity versus the Ka lite platform we are currently using.  We think that as sponsor of this project that Suyapa have personal knowledge and operational experience with the technology.  The next step here is to provide a tablet for use by Suyapa’s grand daughter so she can see first-hand how a student perceives and uses the technology.

Next, the team moved to discuss issues and project organization.

  1. Achievement measures. In order to track the impact of our technology and training interventions, we need to have access and analyze the official Honduran achievement tests. Suyapa agreed and Grace will visit las Esperanza and meet with the Region Information Staff to obtain the data.  We should insure that we get the lowest level possible in order to provide the most analysis flexibility.
  2. Teacher Training. Getting teachers up to speed has been difficult, especially given the demands of a full schedule of classes.  We need Region sponsorship of the training.  Suyapa agreed to do this and offered that they hold important training on Saturdays to avoid conflict with class time.
  3. Usage Reporting. We are reapplying a proven technology, used previously in Guatemala. A summary report was forwarded to Suyapa before our meeting.  Achievement gain in math was correlated to usage.  We have developed weekly logs for reporting usage.   However, we are having trouble getting teacher compliance on a reliable basis.  The only way this will work is if these usage reports belong to Suyapa and she asks for them.  Suyapa agreed and we will follow up to refine the reporting instrument and work with her office on a deployment strategy.
  4. Assign Staff to work jointly with us on the project. Suyapa introduced Nelly and Truman.  They asked for tablets and we agreed to provide them devices as well.  We agreed to provide them.  We are willing to provide technology and content to her for use elsewhere in her department.  We discussed the grant and scope of our fund raising efforts as having a focus in our service area as a priority.   We left open the door for grant writing or fund raising for other municipalities.  This technology is world class. The Android devices we demonstrated cost $35.   Khan Academy for example is used by over 100 million people each year.  We realize that MOE will have to determine their standard, but this joint learning in Intibca can likely lead the way.
  5. We presented Suyapa with a formal invitation to attend our broader awareness meeting in Camasca on Friday. Her schedule will not permit this but her staff will attend.