Guatemala recently rolled out a new education program launched by its Ministry of Education which allows Guatemalans from ages 13 to adult, both at home and abroad to continue their education. The program, Programa Nacional de Educación Alternativa –Pronea, allows students to participate in distance learning and earn formal certifications.
Education like all other sectors are evolving due to the rapid rise of communications technologies. The scourge of illiteracy could be drastically reduced by advanced education technologies (EdTech). While literacy continues to advance, according to UNESCO Guatemala’s 2016 illiteracy rate sits at 80 percent and its new President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera hopes to surpass those figures with the new program.
Like Guatemala, the United States is among the many states turning to alternative and distance learning to increase literacy and educational advancement. Currently about 24 U.S. states offer online classes and educational supplements for its citizens.
Pronea, Guatemala’s sleek new online interface allows students to register, read up on classes, requirements and take classes from anywhere in the world. The program is open to all Guatemalans regardless of current domicile.
While improved EdTech may be the wave of the future for online or distance learning, a report by the Brookings Institution indicates that less prepared learners fare far worse in online class settings than face-to-face in class sessions. Online learning is exploding, according to the Brookings report, one third of all college students take at least one online course.
It remains to be seen how Pronea will affect Guatemala’s literacy an education rates. However, it is clear that online and distance learning is here to stay, and it is being embraced by developing economies as a means to educate a large and growing workforce.
Visit Guatemala’s Pronea Alternative learning portal at https://digeex.net/pronea/ to learn more about how distance and online learning is transforming Guatemala.