Schools in Ecuador preserve ancestral language

A modern construction occupying around four hectares of land surrounded by brick houses, tractors and businesses of all kinds stands out between the farmlands and the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, at an altitude of 3200 metres. It is a community school, the full name of which is “Chibuleo Bilingual Intercultural Education Unit of the Millennium, Guardian of the Language.”

It is a long name, but each word has profound educational and social significance for this indigenous group in Ecuador. It is, moreover, a reflection of the work done by the whole Chibuleo community to guarantee their children’s right to education. It was the first school in the country to give classes in Quechua, the community’s native language and Ecuador’s second official language.

In 2014, it underwent technological modernisation with the introduction of science and IT laboratories, and is now the country’s only school to offer International Baccalaureate studies in an indigenous community.

“We want to be a model for the communities and to educate our students to provide them with knowledge without losing their identity and without forgetting about the rest of humanity,” Alberto Guapizaca, the school director, tells Equal Times.

Read more: Equal Times

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