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  • Awarded:
    2007
  • Issue Areas:
  • Countries Served:
    Brazil · Chile · Colombia · Dominican Republic · Ecuador · El Salvador · Guatemala · Guyana · Honduras · India · Mexico · Panama · Peru · Timor Leste · United Kingdom · Vietnam · Zambia
  • Web:
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    About the Organization

    Founded in 1987 in Colombia, Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) is a nonprofit committed to improve the quality, relevance, and efficiency of education by rethinking the way we learn and promoting active, participatory, cooperative, and personalized learning, centered on the learner. 

    For the past 33 years, FEN has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children and their families through quality education that empowers them as individuals. Their pedagogical approach nurtures an ethos of peace and participation where children, teachers, and communities are the main actors of change. The goal of FEN is for all children, regardless of their context, to have access to quality education and opportunities to fully develop their human potential and achieve outstanding outcomes. 

    Through work with students, teachers, educational administrators, and communities, FEN transforms the conventional, teacher-centered approach to learning into a child-centered, cooperative learning approach that equips and empowers students to learn to learn. FENÂs work and educational approach has benefited more than seven million children across 16 Latin American countries, Vietnam, East Timor, and Zambia. 

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    When schools systems fail students, nations miss the opportunity to build effective citizens of the future.

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    Escuela Nueva is a child-centered model that improves basic education.

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    Vicky Colbert sees all children achieving academic performance, escaping poverty. and contributing to the civic life of their communities.

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    Escuela Nueva's teacher training model has been replicated in Latin America and Asia.

    Ambition for Change

    All children, regardless of their context, develop their full potential to thrive and live prosperous lives through a quality education that equips them and empowers them to be contributing individuals of a flourishing society; reducing inequality and combating poverty. 

    Path to Scale

    FENworks mainly in public schools and with educational authorities, as they are the primary vehicle to scale impact and influence public policy. To ensure quality and sustainability, FEN also partners with other actors and stakeholders that support systemic uptake of programs, research, evaluation, and replication. 

    Skoll Awardee

    From an early age, Vicky Colbert was convinced that achieving sustainable democracy required that all children be educated to become future citizens of their country. In her twenties, she followed in the footsteps of her mother as an educator, and was moved by the civil conflict that decimated communities and families in Columbia, leaving a large void in quality education for the country’s poor. As a result, in 1975 she co-designed the Escuela Nueva pedagogical model to reach and empower poor, rural children in Columbia through quality education methods. After completing her undergraduate Sociology degree at Javeriana University in Colombia and earning two masters degrees--one in Sociology of Education, and the other in Comparative International Education from Stanford University--she started the Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) in 1987. She has been the Executive Director of ENF ever since, sharing and adapting the Escuela Nueva model in Columbia and internationally, as well as continuing to innovate and enhance the model through new developments and programs.

    In addition to becoming a fellow at the Schwab Foundation and Ashoka, she has received numerous awards, including: World Technology Award in Social Entrepreneurship (2005), Revista Semana’s 100 Most Influential Women of Columbian History Award (2005), Clinton Global Citizenship Award (2008), WISE (World Innovation Summit in Education) Award (2009), Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership (2011) and WISE Prize Education Laureate (2013).

     

     

     

     

    Impact & Accomplishments
    • 357 remote rural Colombian schools reached in 2018 and 911 in 2019.  
    • 992 teachers trained in FENÂ’s child-centered, cooperative learning approach in 2018 and 2,119 in 2019. 
    • 11,578 rural students reached with high quality self-paced, self-directed learning materials in 2018, and 33,896 in 2019.  
    • Provided training and technical assistance to the Government of Vietnam to initiate the implementation of  Escuela Nueva. Given its positive results, the government scaled the program (Vietnam Escuela Nueva—VNEN) nationally, reaching approximately 2 million children. 
    • A 2017 WB impact evaluation study of the VNEN program compares the experience of students and school communities from VNEN schools with that of a randomly selected control group of traditional schools. The cohort comparison of children shows that VNEN positively impacted both non-cognitive and cognitive skills of students in Grades 3-5. 
    • A 2017 impact evaluation in Colombia showed that students in schools officially classified as EN schools score significantly better than conventional schools. This effect is comparable to the effect of the difference of one socioeconomic level. Furthermore, EN tends to decrease the achievement gaps between socioeconomic levels and genders. 
    • EN demonstrated significant results in the formation of democratic behaviors and peaceful social interaction of children, in comparison with conventional schools. 
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