AMCHAMDR, US Embassy and private sector invested US$20 million in Basic Education Program

The American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic (AMCHAMDR) and the United States Government through its Agency for International Development (USAID), presented the results achieved under the USAID & AMCHAMDR Basic Education Program, whose main objective is to improve the quality of public education in Dominican public schools with the participation of 91 private businesses and a US$20 million investment.

The Basic Education Program falls within the Embassy objective to promote social inclusion, improving education, enhancing citizen security; and encouraging good governance in the Dominican Republic.  Also this program supports the Dominican Government National Development Strategy, Objective 2 “Social Development.”

The program had an impact on 158 public schools benefiting 30,337 students, 1,880 teachers, and 81 school directors, linked directly to the 91 private businesses. The total budget for this program was of over $ 20 million dollars of which USAID provided $ 2.3 million and $ 17.3 91 private businesses, which contributed for infrastructure reconstruction, equipment provision and teachers training.

AMCHAMDR president Máximo Vidal thanked USAID and the 91 companies for their support to a common interest of making the Dominican Republic more competitive. In addition, Vidal highlighted the importance of the private sector investment in education as a mechanism not only to ensure the sustainability of the companies but also to improve its productivity to actively participate in global economy.

The US Ambassador James W. Brewster, Jr. emphasized the commitment to work with different sectors and programs focused on reducing inequality gap in the country. The Ambassador also thanked the American Chamber of Commerce, businesses and other partners for their efforts to achieve the positive results of this program

Similarly, the program donated books to more than 30,000 students during 2009-2014 through the social investment of 91 private businesses engaged in developing the skills and abilities to ensure productive inclusion in the lives of the Dominican youth population that is vulnerable and psychosocial risk situation.

All training, classes and workshops were focused in improving the skills and methodologies tools to improve students’ reading and writing. Along with the development of skills and abilities to improve reading and writing, all schools received the necessary equipment and materials to ensure basic conditions of learning: lighting (bulbs, inverters and batteries), ventilation (fans), drinking water (water coolers), furniture, and libraries according to the children reading level.

Through the program, the linked companies have created special education initiatives, actively participating in the development of their communities and country. This program became a learning space for education problems and space for strengthening public – private partnerships with the Ministry of Education and other partners.

The Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Humano of PUCMM, with Lic. Oscar Amargós, the institution contracted to carry out the assessment, presented the results and impact of the program where benefited students received books and materials to enhance their reading performance. Students also participated in literacy leveling classes through afternoon classes for accelerated literacy; while teachers received training in teaching techniques such as Quantum Learning, animated reading, classroom planning and creativity; and management of classroom libraries. School directors participated in training workshops to develop educational management skills in the areas of strategic and operational planning, use of the Ministry of Education management system, leadership and community management.