Enlaces is a Chilean educational program designed to create a structural change in Chilean education in order to prepare youth, along with their parents and guardians, to participate in the emergent society of knowledge, and to create networks of communication that help integrate them with the world. Enlaces was started in 1992 by Chile's Ministry of Education.
Plans for Future
In 2007, the Chilean Ministry of Education presented ExpoEnlaces 2007 where they showcased the latest innovations in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) so that people can understand the abilities of these new technologies and their uses in the classroom. That same year, the Ministry of Education published its new objectives and projects for the coming years. Didier de Saint Pierre, the executive director of Enlaces, divided the program into two phases, the first phase, which is coming to a close, focused on infrastructure in the schools and equipping them to install the necessary programs and administration. The second phase involves developing the technological infrastructure so that it has the capacity to improve the quality of learning in Chile. Once the basic technological infrastructure is in place, the Ministry will extend the technology to the remaining schools in less developed regions, and it will implement new technologies in the more advanced regions.
Examples of the new technologies that Enlaces will implement are electronic whiteboards for math, palm pilots or pocket PCs for physics, and projectors for teaching sciences. Other new strategies will include ICT in the classroom, where they will integrate portable technology and projectors in 3,000 classrooms, benefiting 87,000 students (3% of the total number of students). The goal is to implement this program in 16,000 classrooms by 2010.
The science program is a good example of the direction in which the Enlaces program is headed. A very important aspect of this program is teaching style. Enlaces encourages the use of the HEI (hypothesis, experimentation method). The new science classes are being developed in a multimedia format using simulations delivered via the internet.
This new program offers students many benefits. The classes that follow this methodology better prepare students for lessons and projects. When presented with an experiment, students can form a hypothesis, the teacher can demonstrate every aspect of the experiment using a computer, a projection system, and the internet, and the students can follow the other steps of the scientific method. While the use of simulations is not the exactly the same as doing the physical experiment, simulation eliminates the problem of lack of equipment and materials (such as chemicals for chemistry, and animals for dissection for biology) that many schools in Chile face.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education of Chile (MINEDUC) is the Ministry of State responsible for promoting the development of education at all levels, to assure all people access to basic education, to stimulate scientific and technological research and artistic creation, and the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage of the nation of Chile.
The current Minister of Education as of 2010 is Joaquín Lavín Infante.
The ministry began in 1837 as part of the Ministry of Justice and Religious Instruction. In those years the ministry was responsible for overseeing educational institutions such as the Instituto Nacional de Chile and Universidad de Chile. Since 1887 it was named Ministry of Justice and Public Instruction.
The Ministry of Education was separated from the Ministry of Justice in 1927, and became responsible for primary education, secondary education, vocational education, libraries, archives and museums.
During the government of Eduardo Frei Montalva, the following institutions were created under Ministry of Education:
* Junta Nacional de Auxilio Escolar y Becas/National Board of School Assistance and Scholarships (JUNAEB)
* Centro de Perfeccionamiento, Experimentación e Investigaciones Pedagógicas/Center for Improvement, Educational Research and Experimentation (CPEIP)
* Junta Nacional de Jardines Infantiles (JUNJI)