Enseña Chile celebrates 15 years of impacting education
Since its founding in 2009, Enseña Chile has trained and placed more than a thousand teachers in Chile’s most vulnerable classrooms, benefitting more than 300,000 students in 12 regions of the country through its work to reduce educational inequity.
Fifteen years on, Enseña Chile CEO and Co-founder Tomás Recart explained the continuing importance of their work: “Today there are many challenges in education: a worrying academic and literacy gap, high rates of absenteeism and school dropout, a shortage of teachers, and mental health challenges for both students and teachers. The context is challenging and, therefore, we know that we will only succeed if we continue to strengthen our network and work with different actors in the education system.”
Over the years, Enseña Chile has grown and evolved in order to best meet these challenges, and today the organization’s work is focused on three programs. The first of these is the core Enseña Chile fellowship, which began in the classrooms of the Metropolitan Region and is currently present in 12 regions across Chile. In 2018 Enseña Chile launched the second program, Colegios que Aprenden (“Schools that Learn”) which trains, advises and supports teachers to improve their leadership and management practices, as well as the management of their schools. Finally, the third program is UnlimitED which, since 2021, has connected digitally isolated educational communities through donated Starlink satellite antennas. In addition to simply establishing the connection to the internet through the satellite antennas, the program also supports the digital transformation of classrooms through teacher training and skills development.
To celebrate their 15th anniversary, Enseña Chile brought together more than 400 people from the education, public, private, and civil society sectors for an event that focused on learning from the experiences of students who were taught by Enseña Chile participants, and from teachers and administrators who spoke about the challenges of founding a school or teaching in rural contexts. Tomás Vodanovic, a 2015 Enseña Chile alumnus and the mayor of Maipú, spoke about his fellowship experience. “It was undoubtedly the best possible preparation for being mayor,” he shared. “I would not be able to do my job as I do, nor would I have the tools I have, if I had not gone through the classroom and all the learning that gave me.”
Melanie Carvajal, a current Enseña Chile participant who is teaching English in the Tarapacá region, shared that she appreciated “the spaces for conversation and reflection that were developed around systemic educational issues” during the event. “Without a doubt, each activity imbued me with the purpose that unites all of us at the foundation, and that is to keep in mind that providing quality education to all the children of Chile is and must always be our priority,” she said.