Bogotá (Colombia). On 14 October 2021, in Bogotá, as part of the National Educational Forum, the Ministry of Education of Colombia awarded a recognition to the Higher Education Normal School of O. L. of Fatima of Sabanagrande, Atlántico, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of St. Mary Mazzarello Province of Medellin (CMM).

The Higher Education Normal School was awarded in the School Coexistence category with the experience “Coexistence and peace from school to emerging learning environments.” Sr. Lísber Arnoris Zuluaga Santa, FMA, School Coordinator and Provincial Councilor, accepted the recognition.

The Educational Forum is the largest national event in the educational field and each year awards three categories: Education Secretaries, Pedagogical Experiences, and Coexistence Experiences. The goal for 2021 was, “To generate reflections and a public debate on the transformations in the provision of educational services and in the care offered for the integral development of children, adolescents, young people, and adults, so that they experience complete educational paths during the return in presence of educational institutions, in the context of the health emergency due to Covid-19”.

The experience proposed by O. L. of Fatima Higher Education Normal School revolves around four environments:

  • The first environment is the classroom: it works through the CRE / SER program, which aims to educate students on the axis of coexistence and peace, forming mediator leaders and strengthening groups (clubs) of children and young people in mathematics , literacy, English, music, art, sports, and others, thus fostering communicative ecosystems in the school environment.
  • The second environment corresponds to the requests for participation from which the governance of the School with the various members of the Educating Community is stimulated.
  • The third environment concerns work with families, through which it seeks to support parents in managing their children. For this reason, during the pandemic, according to the ministerial strategy “School-family alliance”, the online course “Skills for life” and an in-depth study of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Amoris Laetitiae were offered in direct streaming to accompany parents, coordinated by the family pastoral group “We Are Family”.
  • The fourth environment refers to the projects managed by the coexistence area and by the interdisciplinary nuclei of the Institution, in which the KOKUA research group stands out that  coordinates the Observatory for adolescents between 13 and 16 years and  in times of pandemic to support the personnel of the administrative and support staff.

Interviewed for the news portal Zona Cero, Sr. Lisber Arnoris says, “I am convinced that the alliance between family and school favors collaborative work, to discover the accessible point of the good that everyone carries within themselves, and to generate communication ecosystems capable of transforming society”.

Dr. Constanza Alarcón, Deputy Minister, presented the award to Sr. Lisber “for the quality, relevance, and fairness of the project”, on behalf of the Minister of Education of Colombia, Dr. María Victoria Angulo with the motivation, “Learning and challenges for the Colombian educational system for the return to in presence learning in the search for quality and better opportunities for children and young people”.

The  Normal Higher Education School of O. L.. of Fatima, with about 1900 students, it is a nationally recognized public educational institution for the formation of teachers of initial, preschool, and primary basic education, with human characteristics and pedagogical skills capable of guiding quality educational processes, to respond to socio-cultural and communication needs of contemporary society. Founded in 1949, since 1951 it has been managed by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and since 1952, it has been recognized by the Ministry of Public Education as a Higher Education Normal School. The School favors and cares in a particular way, for education to diversity, peace,  active and solidarity citizenship, and accompanies the processes of the elaboration of knowledge and research, encourages the development of critical, democratic, and intercultural thinking, through a curriculum of integrated studies and the proposal of values based on the Preventive System of St. John Bosco and St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello.


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