An update from Ian


It’s the beginning of the 2024 school year in both Perú Bolivia, and the year is kicking off strong!

In Peru, 2024 marks the first year that Alma can complete its three-step project cycle. Step one is Alma‘s Innovative Pedagogy course. Step two is our Teachers’ Best Practices course. And new to this year is step three: Champion Teachers. In this third step, teachers, who have certified both the Innovative Pedagogy and Teachers’ Best Practices courses are invited to participate as on-site tutors to new teachers participating in the Innovative Pedagogy course. Because our experience shows consistent and constructive accompaniment is key to teachers’ success in our training programs, having a certified on-site colleague accompanying them full-time, in addition to visits and online support from Alma staff, will fill in support gaps we noticed over the last two years.

In addition, as more teachers move from Innovative Pedagogy to Best Practices, and from Best Practices to Champion Teachers, more and more new teachers can be invited to participate in the Innovative Pedagogy course. Therefore, the courses can expand as more and more champion teachers are certified.

This year in both and Beni and Tarija, Bolivia, Alma re-signed contracts with the University (Escuela Superior de Formación de Maestros) to train and prepare students for their on-site practice teaching. We created a different training program for each of the five years of studies to prepare the students for their practice teaching using Alma methodology. We hope to coordinate with the University’s administration to send students to teachers certified in the Alma Methodology for their practice teaching, thereby assuring a supportive practice environment and keeping stand-out teachers in contact with Alma.

Also, in late February Alma took a group of 30 educational specialist from Peru all the way to Beni, Bolivia to meet with their Bolivian counterparts and discuss their experiences in Alma projects in two very different environments. The conference was a huge success, and the outpouring of support for Alma projects in both countries was heartfelt. It was clear, coming from the perspective and words of those who helped implement Alma projects in their jurisdictions, that our programs were not only valued, but left strong, long-term impacts in the quality of education, regardless of whether the school was in the Bolivian Amazon or the Peruvian Andes.

Ian McGroarty
Executive Director
Alma Children’s Education Foundation