CREA (Connect, Reinforce, Educate, and Advance) – is a Blended Learning Program that combines online English, Math and Reading Educational Apps with enhanced face-to-face instruction to help children meet educational goals set out by the Minister of Education of Nicaragua (MINED).
While MINED has clearly defined rules and objectives for teachers, lack of books, training, and accountability impede children from being college ready at the end of high school.
Why is CREA Needed?
Nicaragua has a population of 5 million people, 80% of which live in rural areas where infrastructure is weak and educational opportunities are few. NICA has been working with MINED at a rural school for over ten years. In the last decade, we have seen approximately seventy-five 1st graders, and seven 12th graders enroll each year. That means that from our experience that roughly 10% of all first graders graduate high school. The situation gets worse still. Currently, 93% of high school seniors who take the entrance exams for acceptance to the National University for Engineering (UNI) fail the exam. Sadly, the passage rates for other universities is not much better. The facts are clear; children are not learning what has been set out by MINED in the national curriculum by the time they graduate from high school.
MINED is desperately trying to fix the problem by requiring teachers to attend monthly seminars, improving supervision at schools, and repairing failing infrastructure, but the results have been slow going. There is no easy fix for the current situation. We are well versed in the problems that rural schools face on daily
We believe we can help them solve these problems by implementing a high-speed connection in rural schools, providing hands-on teacher training on how to use technology to deploy MINED’s curriculum despite a lack of materials. Also, offering online education programs to students that improve their skills in math and reading to better prepare them for university-level education.
The aim of CREA is to improve the quality of instruction for school-aged children. We believe we can positively affect university exam passage rates with early intervention, so kids stay on track throughout their entire educational career. Staying on track keeps kids interested and invested in their futures.
Since the kids come from very low-income families, the only way they can go to college once they get accepted is if they pay for it or get scholarships. Improved math and reading skills will give them the knowledge and competence they need to get into university and open opportunities for good paying jobs. English fluency will allow them to pay for their education. The prospect of getting a good paying job will give families hope that they can meet their basic needs of food and shelter in the future and so invest in their children’s education today will pay forward for tomorrow.
CREA gives families an opportunity to end their cycle of poverty in rural Nicaragua.