How the Ministry of Education assesses its first school year

The Ministry of Education considers the development of the 2020-2021 school year under the distance mode as a “feat”.

In addition, managing the pre-university education system under the current conditions is also defined as “a complicated, difficult and risky social task”.

On August 24, the Minerd presented a plan for the school year: “Education for All Preserving Health” which was developed under the distance modality teaching classes by radio and television in all grades.

Limitations and obstacles

There was no strategic plan for 2020-2021.

There was a debt of more than 17 billion pesos.

A deficit of 19,000 teachers.

Some 7 years without textbooks.

Most of the school infrastructure in poor condition despite the 4% of the Gross Domestic Product that society conquered for education 2.0.

A disorganized, dispersed and deteriorating vehicle fleet.

A wide digital and technological gap, connectivity, electricity, water, etc.

Low level of institutionalism, in which contracts replaced the teaching career competitions.

Excessive curriculum, confusing and loaded with irrelevant content.

Lack of reliable and updated information.

An outdated educational model, generating exclusions and incapable of guaranteeing quality education.

We formulated a plan to support the process, a tool with which we conducted the school year that is concluding and which was fully complied with.

In the first months of our administration, the Ministry of Education paid debts of more than 16 billion pesos.

We were the only country in Latin America that “trained its entire teaching staff in the use of Information and Communication Technologies and in the development of methodological competencies for distance education”.

We provided computers to 64 thousand teachers, thus completing the entire teaching staff.

During the first four-month period of our administration, a broad process of purchases, contracting and awarding of goods and services required to guarantee the educational processes was carried out.

This was the most participatory, efficient, ethical and transparent process in the history of the Ministry of Education, and was widely accompanied by the Ethics and Government Integrity Office, the Civil Society Oversight Board, international organizations and the national press, concluding in an act of accountability widely recognized by the Dominican society.

Equipment and supplies

A program of corrective maintenance of the school physical plant was carried out, reaching some 3,600 schools, of which 2,400 have already been completed and 1,200 are in the process of being refurbished.

In spite of the pandemic, the delivery of food to students has continued uninterrupted, reaching a total of 60 million baskets, containing 300 million food rations.

With the support of the Ministry of Public Health and the Health Cabinet, vaccination against covid 19 was given to all the management, teaching and administrative personnel of the pre-university education system.

The educational community was provided with biosecurity material.

A total of 1,546 tables for the initial level, 3,648 blackboards, 4,946 office equipment and 50,119 seats were distributed to educational centers.

The curricular prioritization process was also carried out, and these products were converted into scripts under the supervision and validation of the Curriculum Directorate and the educational levels, ending in the production of virtual content for classes broadcast on television, radio and Internet.

Modalities and support material

A Distance Education modality was implemented, through which we guaranteed the continuity of schooling to the universe of the educational community.

Several open television, cable and radio channels were made available for each grade, as well as a parents’ channel, dedicated to the orientation and training of families. There is also a special channel for students with special needs.

During this school year, 11 million 672 thousand 612 were produced, printed and distributed, one of the basic resources for the support of students and their families.

Agreements

Institutional relations that the MINERD has maintained with the Dominican Association of Teachers and with the national teaching profession.

In this school year, without the need for protests or confrontations, a solution was found to the demand to equalize the salaries of primary education teachers with those of secondary education, with an investment of more than 200, 10 and 7 million pesos per month.

On June 30, Teacher’s Day, with the presence and support of the President of the Republic Luis Abinader, a far-reaching agreement was signed with the ADP, which includes important benefits for teachers, as well as a serious commitment to equity, inclusion and quality of education.

In this year of management, the Ministry of Education has had an outstanding participation and articulation with international integration entities such as the Central American Cultural and Educational Coordination (CECC SICA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

As well as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Andrés Bello Agreement, and the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). The country currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the latter two.

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