Quality Education for All: Colombia’s Partnership with the Republic of Korea to Expand Learning Opportunities through ICT, 2012–15
In Colombia, a country of vast geographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity, students’ place of residence and socioeconomic status heavily determine educational outcomes. Since the early 1990s, the Colombian government has sought to bridge the regional education gap and strengthen public education by harnessing the power of information and communication technology (ICT).
In 2012, the Colombian Ministry of National Education partnered with the Republic of Korea to launch a project that aimed to improve the quality and equity of education through the use of ICT across Colombia.
From the outset, the education ministry faced significant capacity challenges because few teachers had strong ICT skills and the country lacked programmers and instructional designers, particularly outside of the capital, Bogotá. With the support of Korean experts in ICT in education, the ministry recruited and trained hundreds of content developers and teachers through five Regional Education Innovation Centers, which were equipped with ICT infrastructure for digital content development and teacher training. Given the large number of actors involved, all spread across the country, strong leadership and teamwork were key to ensuring smooth coordination and continued engagement of the education community.
By 2015, the five regional centers had produced more than 33,000 pieces of digital education content that were freely available through an online portal called Colombia Aprende (Colombia Learns). The centers also trained more than 16,000 teachers on how to develop their own digital content and use it in their classrooms. However, as of 2019, sustainability challenges remained—in particular, in ensuring that the centers continued to function as hubs to drive innovation in education and reduce the regional education gap across Colombia.
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