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Sanjuaninas schools include students from native communities

Bilingual Intercultural Education ensures that 400 pupils from different indigenous communities are included in the school system.


Argentina is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multilingual country. The National Constitution guarantees respect for the identity of Argentine indigenous peoples and the right to bilingual intercultural education.

This is one of the 8 modalities of the education system in the province of San Juan. Currently, we work with 22 communities in Pueblo Huarpe and with 4 communities in Pueblo Diaguita. They are located in the departments of Sarmiento, 25 de Mayo, Caucete, Rawson, Rivadavia and Valle Fertil. There are about 400 students attending different schools and educational levels.

Since 2016, the Ministry of Education has implemented various activities involving members of the Indigenous Peoples community guaranteeing bilingual intercultural education. The methodology of work is participatory consultation with different references. Such as the Indigenous Participation Council, the Autonomous Educational Council of Indigenous Peoples and leaders of each indigenous community.

The intra-institutional and pedagogical articulation was through these programs: CAJ, Youth Parliament, Solidarity Education, La Escuela Sales del Aula. Students from indigenous peoples participate in these programmes. In addition, they participated in the Education, Science, Art and Technology Fair and in sports championships. In all activities they are identified as referents members of indigenous peoples by putting their culture into value and spreading.

  Training within the framework of Intercultural Education  

The Ministry of Education and the National University of San Juan signed a Complementary Act with the University Programme on Indigenous Affairs. Through this agreement, Workshops are held for teachers and students. One manager and one teacher per school, by level, are trained in intercultural bilingual education in selected departments.

This joint work ensured that referents from native communities trained teachers at different levels of the education system. This allowed them to participate in various ceremonies developed by the communities of indigenous peoples.

The Ministry of Education delivered book kits “Con Nuestra Voz” to schools that worked with the School Out of the Aula Program. They have six texts, each group the literary production of stories, narrations, legends, poetry, essays of the different native peoples. They also have a Mobile Library for book loans. This added to the technology and robotics kits that all educational establishments receive.

  Evolution of Intercultural Education  

In 2018, the “IX Mercosur Youth Parliament Meeting” took place. Three projects were presented with the theme of Bilingual Intercultural Education. 6 students from indigenous peoples and one teacher participated for each project presented.

In 2019 they joined the Solidarity Youth Project, in which the Youth Parliament and Solidarity Education Programme converges. It was implemented in 10 schools, where they investigated and developed themes related to indigenous peoples. One of the criteria envisaged was that establishments had indigenous enrolment, have either worked some line of action or have applied for one.

Education, through its ministerial referents with the PUAI, provides advice, monitoring and permanent monitoring of the different lines of action with regular visits to the communities of indigenous peoples.

  Projection without borders  

The Intercultural Education program began to work as a pilot test with Bolivian communities. Project framed in what is called “cultural mediation” and soon also with Chilean communities.

Source: Yes San Juan

Publication Date: 29/05/2020

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