When Simón Rodriguez, the great mentor of Simón Bolívar, was asked where we would go to look for models with an accurate vision of Latin America’s future, he replied that Spanish America is indigenous, just as its institutions and government must be indigenous. The origin is the means of establishing one and the other. Either we invent or we make mistakes. It is a challenge facing the country’s educational sciences disciplines, who must be leading actors in the coming educational reform.
As a student at the Public University and Youth Opportunities Scenario, I have noticed progress in educational science jobs, especially in La Paz, Cochabamba and a few years ago in El Alto.
I still remember when I entered the University Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) and met emblematic people, such as Pier Carlo Peruto, Pepe Subirates, Cristina Mejía and Beatriz Cajillas. Later, I was fortunate to meet teachers like María Luisa Talavera, Javier Reyes, Emilio Oros, and many others who made history and whose names went down in the history of Bolivian education in the twentieth century. Their teachings still resonate with many professionals who have been in their classrooms and learned from them that teaching goes beyond knowledge and transmission.
With his earnest style and profound wisdom, Dr. Peruto conveyed a connection to knowledge and a stimulus to thought. I have been fortunate to talk to him on countless occasions when I was a new teacher and he has confidence in my ability to learn to become a better teacher. Baby Superats had a friendly, direct manner, did not take half measures and knew how to recognize a good teacher from one who was not. His kindness was moving towards me.
My memories of María Luisa Talavera are very close, she was my friend and took the time to brilliantly teach me the importance of research in research. She was methodical and generous with her students and her class was well-rounded and demanding. In fact, one of his best students is now a prominent professor in the field of education, Luis Vargas.
Beatriz Cajeas was very observant and profound, and she felt the problems of education as an understanding person. Javier Reyes, a student of Paulo Freire, practiced education as a message: resolute, unyielding, and was one of the founders of the Council of the Guarani People.
In the case of Emilio Oros, he had a sovereign teaching practice and his classes were brilliant and demanding in the opinion of his students who never tired of praising him.
Currently, Orlando Huanca, who has been race director twice, has accomplished the difficult task of modernizing and internationalizing the race. It recently concluded a curriculum innovation project entitled “South American Student-Centered Learning” (ACE) led by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the University of Deusto in Spain, which was strongly linked to the teaching profession of UMSA in a bilateral regional scenario with public universities from Latin America and Europe.
Student-centred learning, in the opinion of Magister Huanca, aims to enhance their skills “in critical thinking and decision-making within a framework of mutual respect.” On the other hand, an interesting program, deployed in the rural municipalities of La Paz, Bellape-San Agustín in the municipality of Tiahuanaco, Caranafi and San Buenaventura, led to the training of human resources in ESD in these municipalities, after diagnosing the problems. educational needs and allowed new graduates to get their first jobs in rural municipalities. What is innovative is the formulation of local development projects that respond to local communities and empower young people.
From Universidade Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), every time I visit I am happy with the progress made. I learned about her achievements through my relationship with Jacqueline Roblin, a pioneer in the mainstreaming of a gender approach in higher education, and through reading articles by Guido de la Zerda and other professors who were at that time part of the “Gender Equality” project. “The University as an Object of Research” is an initiative by one of the pioneers of research at the Public University of Bolivia, Gustavo Rodríguez Austria. One of the topics that interested me the most was the research that Ingrid Sikra and Luis Enrique López conducted for years at UMSS, on intercultural bilingual education with commendable rigor and academic seriousness.
Last September, the UMSA Educational Sciences Program celebrated its 57th anniversary, a good opportunity to reflect on the future. A future where expansion of the performance scenario is unavoidable. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many, the profession must become a teaching body that combines, on the one hand, the initial training of teachers and the training of specialist consultants as stipulated in Law 070, but also supports interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. Research is very necessary in the country.
There is still a need for investigation at the local level into the reflections of university professors on the lives of young people, though, and it is clear to me that teachers and scholars trained in Bolivia in the latest educational reforms are global and local and have different clarity of the value of quality education at the center of education. My confidence in teachers and public higher education in Bolivia remains intact.
The author is a professor at UMSA and international.
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