Pies Descalzos achieves high scores on Saber Tests
A public school in Barranquilla, built just 2 years ago, has already achieved a high level of education according to the organization Icfes. The school in question is the Pies Descalzos Educational Institution, financed by the superstar Shakira.
The majority of its students, children of reintegrated people or family members of displaced citizens and of low socioeconomic stature obtained above average scores on the recent Saber 11 tests. One of them, Nestor Alejandro Torres Chamorro, even achieved the 5th place score in the entire country.
Nestor will be 16 this Sunday. He lives in the district of La Playa. His two younger brothers also attend the Pies Descalzos school. He scored a 77 average of all subjects.
“This will help me in the pre-selection process for a scholarship at Northern University,” says Nestor. He has already passed the first stage of selection. He aspires to be a systems engineer. He doesn’t talk much, but he confesses that he feels proud to have contributed to elevating the general level of quality of the school.
It’s an achievement that demonstrates that “not just by virtue of being a poor population, with grave social problems such as poverty, does its education need to be underestimated”, states Carlos Diez, pedagogic advisor of the Pies Descalzos Foundation.
The school gives classes to 1,770 students in one school day. It offers food and nutrition daily as well.
The year prior, evidence was seen of the fruits of the labor put forth by the Colombian singer and Maria Emma Mejia, president of the foundation: the first class of 70 students graduated. Then, it was classified by Icfes at the medium level.
Many of the students who graduated on that occasion, as well as those that have now taken the 11 tests and helped to raise the school to the high level category, came from public schools in the area of La Playa, such as El Canahuate, which is situated at the inferior level according to government exams.
The Institution still has a ways to go to achieve academic excellence, in order to reach the classification of superior and very superior. “We’re not interested in having 1 or 2 students score an 80, but in all of them being a part of the group to score around 60, 70, so that there is justice and dignity in education”, says Diez.
The great advance evidenced by the results, indicates that the articulation of academic, recreational, and technical programs is favorable. “It’s a great form of support, because people are going to begin to see Pies Descalzos as we have always wished for them to see us, as a pillar of pedagogical development in Barranquilla, and as a community center open to all Barranquillan citizens.”