Enrique Rojas: New country, new education | Columnists | Opinion

Presidential elections always offer the opportunity for change. Sometimes this change is based on proposals, others on the desire for things to improve.

The truth is that someone will have to sit down on Monday with the mission of rethinking education in Ecuador. It will not be an easy task, since the experience generated from COVID-19 is added to the particular and historical conditions of the country.

Quarantine and the phenomenon of classes online They have highlighted the serious deficiencies, inequalities and inequities that the educational systems have. For Mariano Jabonero, Secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), not everything is bad or lost, as this context has given us the opportunity to reduce the digital divide. However, he emphasizes, it is not enough to massively distribute tablets or megabytes, it is necessary to have complete educational programs.

The educational bet of the future will be a hybrid or mixed model.

In this regard, Ana María Raad, founder of aprendoencasa.org, states that during this time we have misnamed “hybrid classes” those that replicate exactly the same thing that happens in the classroom, but that are transmitted online.

The evidence indicates that hybrid (quality) education requires key conditions such as connectivity, teachers’ capacities to develop their classes in these environments, and student competencies that aim at autonomy.

In other words, we must observe and rethink the entire system that surrounds education, because post-pandemic school, definitely, should no longer be what it was before March 2020.

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The challenge is huge, but so is the opportunity.

How much has focusing on control and standardization helped us? How much did we need to have free colleges and universities with spaces for innovation?

José Joaquín Brunner, an expert in education, points out that in the debates about the future of education there are a number of conceptual distinctions and inherited understandings that have begun to become obsolete and that prevent us from approaching possible futures and their challenges.

It cannot be tied up and controlled, it cannot escape from the liquid, nor have unbridled control as was intended at the time. The pandemic has taught us about this multidimensionality.

An education for resilience is necessary, to live in an unstructured world. Today it is essential to educate in critical thinking, if education does not take care of this, we are going to live very dramatic times.

The world changed because people have changed, the new paradigms have transformed the way of living, being and thinking, and education cannot be left out.

A great task for the person who has Ecuador’s education in his hands on Monday, but at the same time, a precious challenge that can achieve momentous and historic changes for everyone. (OR)

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