EHL in Latin America, Bulletin No. 6 – October 2004
The "Exploring Humanitarian Law" programme in Latin America
Chile ’s second national EHL training workshop took place from 16 to 19 August 2004. The event proved a useful means of extending knowledge and refining strategy.
Meanwhile, Honduras held its first national training workshop for EHL facilitators (27-29 August). The event was attended by teachers who had already undergone training in the use of the programme, so the academic level was high.
A new training workshop
The second national EHL training workshop took place in Santiago de Chile between 16 and 19 August. In addition to training people to use EHL, the workshop provided an opportunity to discuss expansion of the programme in Chile.
Participants included 20 officials from the Chilean education ministry, all of them professional teachers with important responsibilities in the education system. These people are playing a direct role in implementing EHL as regional coordinators of education, programme coordinators or education inspectors.
The workshop was also attended by representatives of the national coordination body for the programme, the Chilean Red Cross and the ICRC (staff from the regional delegation in Buenos Aires and the support centre for Latin America).
Participants said the workshop would have a positive effect on the process currently under way in the country, as it would improve knowledge of the programme’s subject matter and would help to develop strategies for the implementation process launched in 2001.
During 2004, EHL has been used in six of Chile’s regions – Metropolitana, I, V, VII, VIII and IX – in a total of 107 secondary schools. The programme has involved some 225 teachers and over 10,700 pupils.
The aim for 2005 is to extend the number of schools covered in each of these regions and to continue regional training for teachers, ideally those specialized in teaching social sciences.
An interesting process is under way in this Central American country.
The first national training workshop for EHL facilitators took place between 27 and 29 August. This was the first event of its kind in the region.
The participants were teachers who had undergone training during the three national workshops held in Honduras between 2002 and 2004. They had all acquired valuable classroom experience. This event was therefore different from other EHL training sessions; it would permit significant progress to be made in this part of the world, as people were being trained who would train others to use EHL, as per the strategy drawn up by the Honduran ministry of education.
The workshop took place in the San Francisco centre at Siguatepeque in the department of Comayagua, three hours’ drive from the capital. It was attended by 15 teachers from seven departments, plus four specialists from INICE ( Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Capacitación Educativa , the education ministry’s national institute for education research and teacher training). The workshop was run by the ministry of education and the Honduran Red Cross, with assistance from the ICRC’s regional delegation in Mexico and the support centre for Latin America.
The INICE specialists, along with five of their colleagues, had undergone training at the third national EHL training workshop in Tegucigalpa, 19-21 July 2004.
A well-designed strategy
This is the third year in which EHL has been used in Honduras. The education ministry has now revised its implementation strategy, adapting it to the situation in the country. INICE and the department of th e ministry responsible for civics projects have set up a joint coordination team, for which the Honduran Red Cross is providing support where possible.
The strategy comprises a number of activities. “Evaluation days” are scheduled for the latter part of the year. The aim of these events is to analyse the results of work carried out. There will also be “EHL awareness-raising days”, for the 18 department directors of education and the head teachers of 35 basic education centres selected to use EHL from 2005 onwards.
The “basic education centres” are in fact secondary schools, and cover the first three years of secondary education. During 2005, it is intended to train 70 teachers (two in each of the schools selected) to use the programme in class.
During 2004, 47 teachers used the programme in 40 schools, spread over 11 of the country’s 18 departments, thereby reaching some 2,200 pupils.
The work undertaken to date constitutes an encouraging basis for the 2005 academic year, as the number of pupils involved is continuing to increase.
A number of events are scheduled for the coming months. Chile is about to undertake a national evaluation exercise. In addition, 29 October is human rights day in all the secondary schools where EHL is being used. Peru is preparing to carry out a new national evaluation exercise and its fourth national EHL workshop is scheduled for the beginning of November. El Salvador will shortly be holding its first national evaluation exercise, while Guatemala is preparing to carry out both a further evaluation exercise and its third national EHL training workshop, also in November.