The Minister of Education, Ángel Hernández, assured that the Ministry has prioritized educational spending by changing the profile of investment and focusing more on quality and on aspects that have to do with the learning process, which in this administration has increased from 6% to 12%.
The minister expressed himself in these terms while heading in San Francisco de Macorís the presentation ceremony of the printed and digital textbooks produced by the Universidad Católica Nordestana (UCNE) under the coordination of the Editorial Unit of the Minerd through the Open Book project, where he stressed their importance because they transmit the content of the curriculum and help students to embody what is defined as the project of the nation.
“Before, less than 6% was spent in the Minerd on teacher training programs, furniture, textbooks and any other means that impact the classroom, which in this management has increased by 12%, changing the profile of investment to spend more on quality and aspects that have to do with the learning process of students,” said Hernandez.
The Minister of Education said that due to the management of the 4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) destined to education, today there are more schools, better quality classrooms, in addition to the fact that this year the Ministry has invested almost 10,000 million pesos in repairing schools that had not been touched for years.
Referring to the Open Book program, Minister Angel Hernandez said that to date 156,000 texts have been downloaded through digital devices, that 320,000 students in the country have visited the platform and that every day more and more young people are entering this portal looking for information.
He added that textbooks also meant a great expense for families, but now they are free nationwide for everyone, which is changing the country’s education.
Hernández also highlighted projects such as the School Transportation Program (TRAE), officially launched by President Luis Abinader, which will provide 1,600 buses to transport students to their schools. He also highlighted the construction and repair of classrooms, as well as teacher training to favor student learning.
He stated that this type of education is the one that must be seen and how it impacts Dominican society, pointing out that “we all have to agree because education is the first priority of the country”.
He reiterated that everyone must propose to change the school, which can also be achieved by providing each student with a textbook, which for the last 10 years has not reached secondary education and this is now resolved for all children.
During his speech, the Minister congratulated the authors who worked on the books and all those who believed that it was possible, such as the Academy of Sciences and the universities, to achieve that today 72 books are posted on the portal of the Minerd.
He said that the entire project includes 195 texts, which will allow students to have a diversity of content and authors, as well as training of citizen leadership that we all want to have to live in a democratic society and a better world for all our children.
The rector of the UCNE, Reverend Father Isaac García de la Cruz, said that since the Ministry opened the call for this project, the university he directs accepted it as a contribution to the welfare and transformation of the country and thanked them for the trust placed in them to share their strategies, knowledge and precepts, which have guided the authors to achieve these books.
“Each book, at a national level, has a face behind it and it was necessary for us to know them, because these books, are not only dead or cold letters that end up in a library, but, above all, in actual and real knowledge, teaching-learning processes, which will lead the country to a radical change”, said Rev.
Apolinar Escolástico, director of the School of Education of the Universidad Nordestana, expressed that the textbooks are the basis on which students will build their dreams and aspirations and that the new didactic material will provide students with the necessary competencies for their academic development, since they have been designed to provide a quality, accessible and equitable education for all.
Likewise, Manuel Núñez, director of Editorial Libro Abierto, stated that previously it was not possible to meet the needs of educational services, but that today through the Minerd platform it is possible to access the Libro Abierto from the most remote place, through the computer or cell phone, which is a unique achievement in the education sector
“We believe that education is a good that allows us to perpetuate the nation, creating individuals who know how to read, express themselves and say what they think, becoming productive people,” said Núñez.
He specified that, as of today, about four million of the printed edition of the textbooks have been distributed and 40% are still to be distributed.