Belén Agricultural School welcomes students after months of virtual education and opens new dorms
Students from the Belén Agricultural School of the Fundación Paraguaya, located in the Department of Concepción, returned to school after months of virtual education, as a result of the pandemic. On the occasion, in addition to welcoming the young people, new dorms will be inaugurated for the girls, whose capacity has been expanded from 18 to 30 places. The activity will be attended by PhD. Martín Burt, executive director of the Fundación Paraguaya, and local authorities.
The new facilities comprise an area of 200 m2, consisting of six dormitories for four to five students, each one with a bathroom, laundry, and a main recreational area. They were built from reused maritime containers, chosen for their speed of installation, sustainability, portability, and their possibility of expansion.
Martín Burt, Executive Director of Fundación Paraguaya, points out that six out of ten children do not finish their high school education in Paraguay because access to quality education is limited and expensive. “The Self-Sustainable School Model addresses this problem by offering high-quality, affordable secondary education to low-income rural communities in Latin America and Africa. Through this program, we alleviate rural poverty by providing innovative educational opportunities,” he pointed out.
Fundación Paraguaya’s Self-Sustainable School was recently chosen as one of the most impactful and scalable educational innovations in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the Spotlight 2021 Report, published by HundrED and the Inter-American Development Bank.
The Self-Sustainable School Model ensures the quality and relevance of the program by providing students with the opportunity to learn practical and entrepreneurial skills, while helping to manage commercially viable businesses on campus. The school’s curriculum is a hybrid between two official Government study programs (Agriculture and Livestock and Rural Tourism and Accommodation) and the Junior Achievement Foundation’s Business Education curriculum. Students learn to run competitive businesses, from production to marketing to record keeping, gaining useful and marketable skills. At the same time, the school ensures that this education is affordable for students by generating income to cover the costs. The skills developed empower students to broaden their perception of possibility and improve their quality of life.