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President Piñera launches new school year and quality education plan

During a visit with third graders at the Llano Subercaseaux School in San Miguel, President Piñera presented the “Chile Learns More” plan, which introduces ten measures designed to improve the quality of education.

President Sebastián Piñera officially launched the 2019 academic year on Tuesday with a ceremony in which he reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to improving the quality of education and focusing on classroom learning with more and better tools.

“We need to have a system that includes everyone and doesn’t leave anyone out. We need to have a system that is capable of delivering quality education and motivating principals, teachers, parents and guardians, and children”, the President said during a ceremony at the Llano Subercaseaux School in San Miguel, where he was accompanied by Education Minister Marcela Cubillos and third grade students.

President Piñera also presented the ten initiatives that form part of the “Chile Learns More” Quality Plan, which focus on reducing bureaucracy, improving reading, encouraging students to learn English, the use of new technology and the development of more and better classroom teaching tools.

“There is nothing more important for Chile than the success of this effort and this mission to improve the quality of education of all of our children”, President Piñera added at the ceremony, during which he reiterated his commitment to improving the quality of education at all levels.

President Piñera highlighted the importance of the Education Ministry initiative “Lift Up Schools,” which seeks to bring student learning to up to standard, and defended the Fair Admission bill, which prioritizes merit in admissions processes.

“We need quality education so that every child can make their dreams come true”, he added.

Ten Measures for Quality Education

1. Everyone in the Classroom: In an effort to reduce bureaucracy in the education system, the Super Simple Plan will be implemented to create friendlier institutions with smart oversight. In addition, a bill designed to modify the

Preferential School Subsidy Law in order to increase schools’ autonomy for the use of these resources will be introduced and processes involving communities and the Quality Assurance System will be digitized and simplified.

2. I Read First: The goal of this program is to ensure that all students learn to read in first grade. Currently, 158,000 children begin second grade without an adequate reading level. The initiative involves providing the “I Read First” set to every first grade, offering specific and targeted support to 480 schools classified as low and medium-low performing through reading programs, training teachers and teaching assistants and providing libraries for 100% of public and subsidized private elementary schools, among other measures.

3. English in English: The goal is for all fifth and sixth grade students to be able to converse in English. Over 400 teachers who work with students in these grades (16% of all teachers in Chile) will be trained as part of this effort and the Education Ministry will finance certification and internships abroad.

4. National Online Curriculum: By March 2019, each teacher will have access to interactive educational resources designed to facilitate planning through the platform curriculumnacional.cl.

5. Project-based Learning (PBL): New methodologies will be introduced that allow students to learn by responding to authentic, complex challenges through a PBL resource portal that includes ideas for projects, assessments, guiding principles and best practices guides that promote learning for all students.

6. The Connected to the Future Plan: Use of technology and digital languages to learn through the “I Study” portal (yoestudio.mineduc.cl), a free platform for all students that offers world-class educational resources.

7. Healthy Coexistence Seal: This effort involves introducing a new school coexistence policy and creating a teaching innovation fund for schools through the launch of a Teaching in School Coexistence Innovation Fund and the expansion of the network of schools that have earned the “Healthy Coexistence Commitment” distinction.

8. Prevention and reinsertion: An effort will be made to reduce attrition and return over 70,000 children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 to the

classroom through a network of tutors and the implementation of the Attrition Alert System, which assesses educational variables and social context in an effort to predict when a student may drop out.

9. Training principals: Training for 175 principals of technical and vocational schools through blended learning courses. The administration expects to offer 175 scholarships this year and to have a total of over 400 principals who are committed to the government program.

10. Teaching mentorships: One thousand mentors will be trained to support new teachers with a focus on two new regions (I and II).

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