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Fe y Alegria in Paraguay

Historical summary
Lines of action
Achievements
New challenges
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Historical summary


Fe y Alegría en Paraguay (6Kb)Fe y Alegria began to function in Paraguay in 1992, but even from the decade of the 1980s there had existed a desire among Jesuits to found it, and efforts were made to that end. The need for Fe y Alegria was seen to arise from the reality of the country, with its bilingual population which is the result of a mix between Guarani Indians and Spanish colonists; from a history marked by internal revolts, dictatorships, backwardness in many areas (including education) and poverty in both urban and rural zones.  Nonetheless, it was not until the beginning of the 90s that adequate conditions were given for the legal founding and public initiation of the movement.  The initial support came from the Society of Jesus and several other religious congregations, as well as from the mass media, some businesses and several individual donors.  Afterwards funds for projects were obtained from international aid agencies.


Fe y Alegría en Paraguay (6Kb)The organizational work began quickly.   By the middle of 1992 we had already established teams for the development of intercultural and bilingual education programs in rural areas, using radio broadcasts.  That year seven schools were initiated, and by year-end we were able to observe the swift and successful diffusion of Fe y Alegria, since the requests for setting up new schools increased rapidly, reaching around fifty.


In 1993 the Ministry of Education officially recognized the movement as an institution dedicated to education.  Then, in 1998, a definitive agreement was signed with the government so that both parts could work in coordination for the education of the most disadvantaged.  Presently Fe y Alegria Paraguay has schools and other centers in 60 different localities and in 9 departments of the country.


Lines of action

  1. Rural Program for Intercultural Education: teaching at the primary level is done in Guarani, the native language of the majority of the students, and gradually they learn Spanish.
  2. Urban School Program: in the departments of Central and Upper Parana.  They offer primary education and some level of secondary education.
  3. Rural Program for Intercultural Education by Radio:  oriented to adults who have not finished primary school, so that they may begin secondary.  Radio education, in both Spanish and Guarani, is combined with regular classes and instruction by teachers.  The program has the approval of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
  4. Bilingual Intercultural Education:  an emphasis that runs throughout our programs, centering on the unification of linguistic criteria in the schools, in radio education, in text books and in teacher training.
  5. Pastoral: an emphasis that runs through all the other programs.


Achievements

  1. The creation and development of more than 50 educational centers, including schools in rural and marginal urban areas as well as radio education centers in the rural parts.
  2. The production and editing of bilingual school texts for the primary level.  Fe y Alegria has been a pioneer in establishing Guarani as a first language in general basic education in the parts of the country where the language is spoken.
  3. The integration of the courses in the agricultural schools within the new program of educational reform, all within the framework of the Program for Intercultural Bilingual Education.
  4. The development of demonstration and experimentation farms in the agricultural schools of Concepcion and San Pedro.
  5. The production and editing of support materials for the four cycles of the Program for Intercultural Bilingual Education by Radio.


New challenges

  1. Dedicating effort and resources to the consolidation of the work of Fe y Alegria, not only to its expansion.
  2. Strengthening the teams which do teacher training and which edit text books.
  3. Planning out, deepening and guiding more closely the integral formation of the teachers.
  4. Developing the pedagogical and didactic materials necessary for all the programs which have been implemented, as well as revising systematically the existing materials in order to keep them up to date.
  5. Making the pastoral dimension an explicitly emphasized service, one that touches intimately the day-to-day activities of the educational centers and the national office.
  6. Increasing the opportunities for school training, especially in the agricultural area, as well as in the Program for Intercultural Bilingual Education by Radio.

 

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PARAGUAY
Director: Carlos Caballero S.J.
Oficina: Juan E. O´Leary N° 1.847
e/ 6ª y 7ª Proyectadas.
Asunción - Paraguay
Teléfono: (595) 21-371659 / 390576
Fax: (595) 21-390584
Correo-e general: oficinanacional@feyalegria.org.py   
Correo-e del Director: direccion@feyalegria.org.py / fyadire@telesurf.com.py
Web: www.feyalegria.org.py