In Nicaragua, the average school-day ends at noon– resulting in limited time in the classroom and a lower quality of education when compared to the developed world. 37% of Nicaraguans between the ages of 15-24 do not have an education beyond primary school. This number increases in rural areas of the country, such as in Laguna de Apoyo, where limiting factors such as costs of transportation and long distances to schools limit educational access.
The Peace Project strives to address the underlying barriers that prevent access to education such as transportation, and educational costs, while reinforcing the school day’s learning with after-school tutorials. Through focusing on access and quality, we believe that education can play a fundamental role in alleviating poverty. Resulting in increased participation in higher education and the skills needed to enter the work force.
The Becados Program began in the 2015 school year and funded 15 scholarships for community youth to attend Laura Vicuña, the local secondary private school. This year the Peace Project expanded the Becados Program to provide 22 scholarships in total– one of which supports a recent graduate to attend university in Managua. The scholarships cover the costs of tuition, the uniform, transportation, and necessary school supplies which typically create barriers to education.
Laura Vicuña School
The Peace Project’s educational volunteers also work in the Laura Vicuña Private School. Laura Vicuña is located on the rim of the crater and serves over 500 students in grades K-12. The school ranks third for education quality in the region of Masaya and it’s location within the crater increases accessibility for our local community. The project runs an afterschool program that offers tutorials in English and Mathematics. The English classes aim to increase the linguistic skills of students while encouraging critical thinking and cross-cultural exchanges. Our Becados are required to attend the weekly tutorials and they are open to the rest of the school.
Capacity Building at Laura Vicuña
Teaching afterschool tutorials to our Becados has inspired us to have a greater impact at their school. The school currently has one English teacher that works in both the primary and secondary school- resulting in a weaker quality of education due to limited time and resources. To strengthen the English language program we are currently seeking applications for a Full Time English Teacher sponsored by The Peace Project. The chosen candidate will teach in the primary school and work alongside Laura Vicuña’s current English teacher in developing the annual curriculum, which will then be reinforced in our afterschool program. This effort strives to improve the quality of English language instruction at the school and expand our reach to students outside of the Becados program.