Bogotá (Colombia). On 21 May 2024, the Principals of the Normal Higher Schools (ISS-FMA) of Node Colombia met in Bogotá, in the headquarters of Our Lady of the Snow Province (CBN) of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, to follow up on the proposed action plan for the three-year period 2023-2025 and, in particular, to organize the fifth seminar on the Preventive System, which this year will be in presence.

During the meeting, the Principals expressed the added value of belonging to the network for them and for the institutions. It is a strong experience of communion that generates strength and hope; trust and faith in the Charism, especially with regard to the contribution it has made and continues to make to education in the Country. It is a great support, in particular for those who are beginning their mission in the direction of the Magistral Institutes. Everyone feels that the network is the realization of a dream: the prophecy of communion in the mission at the service of teacher formation in Colombia.

In the following days, they also participated in the meeting organized by the Ministry of National Education – from 22 to 24 May in the city of Girardot – with the rectors of the 138 Higher Institutes of Teacher Formation in the Country. It is significant that nine of these institutions belong to the FMA.

The objective of the meeting was to promote a space for dialogue and reflection that would gather the voices of the operators of the Schools of teacher formation, in order to promote the joint implementation of possible scenarios to strengthen and improve the quality of teacher education in Colombia.

Dr. Mauricio Katz, Director of Strengthening Territorial Management of the Ministry of National Education, at the opening of the event highlighted four challenges for teacher formation schools:

  • Reflecting on the future, starting from the nature of the new pedagogical practices and technological challenges.
  • Strengthen their role in building peace and reconciliation, in a multi-ethnic and multicultural nation.
  • Establish how rural teacher formation can help address climate change.
  • Reflect on how progress is being made in the implementation of comprehensive formation and in the dignity of the teaching profession.

The meeting, characterized by listening and sharing ideas, was articulated through debates, two reports, a round table, and six work tables, to identify the new regulatory scenario that will strengthen the mission already carried out by these pedagogical institutions.

The Ministry invited some members of the ISS-FMA network to participate in these spaces: teachers Gloria Herrera of the School of Copacabana and Melfi Campo of the School of Manaure, took part in the debate, “The pedagogical memory of the Higher Institutes of Teacher Formation”; and Sister Monica Tausa, FMA, Dean of the Superior Normal School of Santa Marta, spoke at the debate, “Teacher formation, a fundamental element of the Higher Teacher Formation Institutes (ENS)”.

In closing, Dr. Oscar Sánchez, Deputy Minister of Education, said: “In Colombia, there is someone who builds peace every day; someone who educates with a mystic of love, teaching and practical tools. The Schools of teacher formation, above all, teach how to be this in the territory, taking into account the context.”

Teacher formation covers multiple aspects: legal and financial, pedagogical and curriculum-related, promotion, research and pedagogical practice, autonomy and governance, human talent. All this requires the configuration of a special system that recognizes the entire trajectory of an Institute of teacher formation, from kindergarten to a degree. In this scenario, the networks of Normal Schools for teachers are undoubtedly an opportunity to be strengthened.

At the end of the event, the new Directive Council of the Association of Teacher Formation Colleges – ASONEN – was also established, including one of the Principals of the Network, Sister Mary Luz Gómez, FMA of the School of Copacabana.


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