Program Goal / Need: Building on Juárez and Associates’ (J&A) 35 years of experience working in Guatemala, the firm is implementing USAID/Guatemala’s Education Reform in the Classroom Project (2009-2013). The work performed under REAULA derives from the USAID Central America & Mexico Regional Strategy which focuses on achieving a more democratic and prosperous Guatemala. The project builds on successes from the 2004-2009 period of USAID support to Guatemalan education and on Government of Guatemala priorities. The overall goal is to ensure educational reform in the classroom and the application of effective approaches to expand and improve basic education opportunities in Guatemala, thus contributing to workforce readiness of the nation’s youth as well as reduction in youth violence.
Program Description: As prime contractor, J&A provides technical assistance to improve access to the quality, equity and efficiency of basic education, by increasing teacher effectiveness, improving classroom-learning environments, fostering effective first and second language acquisition and reading, extending access to under-served populations, women and indigenous groups, and expanding parent and stakeholder participation in student learning.
Program Results: Project interventions target institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Education, teacher professional development, implementation of educational and life competency standards, and design of curriculum and materials for effective Spanish and Mayan language acquisition. J&A also provides technical assistance to align language curricula, textbooks, instructional and learning materials, tests and continuous assessments with standards. In support of project goals, REAULA is working with many stakeholders, including citizen groups, teachers’ unions, the academic community and business partners to guarantee that reforms are fully implemented and, most importantly, that they positively impact on the teaching and learning processes of children in the classroom.