The Ministry of Education develops an educational policy based on three pillars: quality, inclusion and coexistence, understanding education as a tool to level off the access, retention and exit from the social cohesion, and also as a driving force for human development and life in democracy. During our administration we have worked with two main aspects as clear horizons for the education in Santa Fe: inclusion in the educational system and the quality of the learning experiences of our students.
This policy is part of the Provincial Strategic Plan Vision 2030, specifically on the question of social quality. It comprises programmes and plans that promote the construction of equality of opportunities for access, retention, learning and discharge of children, young people and adults.
Major programmes are: “Back to School”, Extended Class Schedule, School Infrastructure, Open School, Road Safety Education, Universalization the 4-year-old kindergarten, Professional practices in technical schools and sex education, which is carried out with the involvement of all the participants in the education system: teachers, head teachers, students and school assistants.
The education system comprises four levels (initial, primary, secondary, and high) and has eight forms: professional technical education, artistic education, special education, permanent education for youth and adults, rural education and intercultural bilingual education.
There are 70,000 teachers, school assistants and cooperators who take part in the process, every day, to meet with children, young people and adults in the creative, generous and liberating event that is education.
There are more than 800 thousand students attending daily, accessing the right to education established in the National Constitution.
There are 5,000 schools that receive them, strategically located throughout our territory. They are scenarios of their unique stories, and at the same time, this collective story, that is developed in the constant traffic between the classroom and the community that surrounds them.
In Santa Fe, we continue opening spaces to make it worth the effort of those who each day rely on the principle that education is the key to live better.
“Back to School” Plan
The “Back to School” Plan began in 2013, when the Government of Santa Fe decided to contact the boys and girls who had quit school, to help them come back and finish secondary school.
The initiative has to do with the compulsory nature of the secondary level and the conviction to reverse the number of drop-outs at the secondary level.
This Plan is one of the biggest challenges taken by the Ministry of Education in the Social Cabinet of the Province of Santa Fe. On the one hand, because it was crucial to articulate with other ministries to achieve a holistic approach to the problems of children in the most vulnerable districts of the largest cities in the province, mainly Rosario and Santa Fe: Safety, Habitat, Justice, Social Development, Health, Culture, Education, Labour, Production.
On the other hand, because the core of this plan was to work on the differences in each case, i.e., detect the reasons why boys and girls quit their studies and then, find the way to make them go back to school taking into account every difficulty.
With interdisciplinary teams, the province and the municipalities search for these young people, go to their homes, to design a strategy that would allow them to go back to school. Meanwhile, schools are prepared to receive them and accompany them in their academic performances, especially addressing the reality of each one, and also to strengthen the link between other students and secondary school. A group of youth counselors accompany them during the extra academic hours to help them overcome the problems that may appear.
Thus, 800 young people, more than half of whom were found in their homes, restarted their studies in 2013. In more than 90 schools our teachers received them, and accompanied them to finalize a new academic year.
In 2014, 3400 youths from different localities of the province were visited. The best place for young people to build their projects of life is school. The commitment of the Government with the Santafesinos is to ensure the education of young people because education is their right and an opportunity to find new roads.
- Young summer
For these young people, counselors will also escort them during the holidays, in recreation programmes as the “Young Summer”, which is a programme of the local government which promotes summer recreational activities: swimming and games, camps, etc, so the link between children and institutions does not weaken. It is an opportunity to continue in educational and recreational spaces during the school break.
This proposal for young people during the school break is also an opportunity for those who still do not attend school; they can contact with students and youth counselors and start working on their possibilities of beginning the compulsory studies. In terms of the strategy of the “Back to School” Plan, the “Young Summer” is a bridge between young people and the school, which allows them indirectly, through other proposals of the State or social organizations.
This programme, which articulates the actions developed by the provincial government for digital inclusion, has three central aspects. First of all, accessibility, i.e., that teachers and students have technological resources in the classroom. In this sense, together with the New Bank of Santa Fe Foundation and Acindar Foundation, the Ministry of Education opened 60 digital classrooms for the primary level.
In secondary schools, high levels and special education, from the same principle of action, and articulating the public-private model, students and teachers have started to receive interactive digital whiteboards, which are linked to the netbooks that these levels already have, to perform tasks in the classrooms and recover the teacher-student bond while they work together.
The second aspect, which deals with digital frames, is connectivity. Since 2008, the provincial government has extended the internet connectivity throughout the provincial territory and has reached 98% of schools.
Finally, the third aspect of the programme is the training and updating the educators, for the use of educational technologies, with the intention of recreating the processes of teaching and learning, strengthening the link between the teachers and their students through the creation and implementation of pedagogical mechanisms in terms of interactive digital technologies.
For this training, the Ministry of Education has a Virtual Campus for teachers from all levels and modalities of the system. Recently, it has been developed a Web Conference platform that will allow the possibility to generate distance links, and share academic and scientific activities in all teacher training institutes which are progressively joining the programme Digital Frames.
Extended Class Schedule
From 2013, the province of Santa Fe has incorporated the Extended Class Schedule in schools from the primary level in Rosario and Santa Fe, as a cross-cutting issue for inclusion, coexistence and citizen participation.
In the framework of the National Law of Extended Education, the Ministry of Education has begun the experience with 4th and 5th grades and then continued at the same schools with 6th and 7th grades.
For this purpose, schools had put up their spaces, opening soup kitchens and classrooms that allow the development in areas of artistic activities, English, assisting the student to expand entrepreneurial pedagogy. These schools also improve the environments where the kids can project their ideas to plan and develop them in the future, and build places to stay and belong.
In 2014, these achievements opened the way to incorporate more schools aiming to reach the Extended Class Schedule, reaching 100 schools of the Province of Santa Fe, which means 7,300 children from the educational community in Santa Fe.
ESI – Integral Sex Education
From 2010, the Government of Santa Fe has implemented an Integral Sexual Education in the curricular contents of all schools in the province.
In the framework of the National Law 12.150 that establishes the teaching of Integral Sex Education as a cross-cutting issue in the curricular contents, the Ministry of Education has incorporated teams of specialists, and each year more teachers join the system. Both, teachers and schools facilitate the implementation of the guidelines of the Integral Sex Education in each subject and in each space of the school institution. In 2013, young students from the secondary level were included in these spaces for debate and training.
Information about comprehensive sex education allows joint reflection between teachers and professionals about how to deal with the right of access to this information in the classroom.
Sexuality, the diversity of families, gender identity, knowledge and respect for the body, equality of opportunities between men and women, discrimination, and the importance of the affections in the relations are the main contents taken on in class.
This process ends with creative activities, where students, teachers, and family members are the main protagonists.
Plays, debates at school, production of videos, murals, songs, and activities organized with health centres and institutions in the district are some of the proposals that emerged from the collective commitment.
In 2013, more than 35.000 and 15 thousand students took part in the activities and made proposals to foster trust and respect, prevention and enjoyment of life.
In 2014, the Government of Santa Fe continued strengthening this policy, expanding the number of schools and towns that work from the perspective of comprehensive sex education, so that more children and young people can plan their lives and live their projects in an environment of coexistence and freedom.