Saturday, March 29, 2008

Big Changes Planned For Katitawa School

As we near the end of the school year we need to make definitive plans for the next school year starting in September.
First of all I would like to review a little history of the Katitawa School. The school was started more than 10 years ago by Rosa Marie Masaquiza to fulfill a lifelong dream of having a bilingual school in Salasaca. Bilingual meaning that it would teach Kichwa and Spanish. It started as a private school and later joined the network of bilingual schools that were approved as experimental schools under the Ecuador Department of Education. In 2006 we added English to the curriculum.

Although Katitawa is not owned by the government, however the government does contribute a small sum of money for the salaries of two teachers, one of which also acts as the director. For many years Rosa Maria was the Director, but in February of this year, Rosa Maria had an opportunity to take a job at a university in the United States which was very difficult to pass up. Before she left she found her replacement and everything proceeded without any problems with the students or parents.

Some problems have cropped up in the last few weeks that are causing some doubt how much longer the government will be paying the two teachers. They have already decided not to pay Maria who has taken over for Rosa Maria. Maria will continue however because a group in the United States have agreed to help with her salary for the rest of this school year. So for the rest of this year we are operating as before.

At this time the directors of Sumak Kawsay Yachay are looking into the feasibility of reverting Katitawa back to a private school. We are in the process of writing an operating plan and present it to the Education Minister for approval.

The biggest problem is that we will now increase our operating budget by $400.00 which is what the government has been paying to the two teachers. We are quite confident that we will be able to raise this additional money plus a little extra. It is our goal to be able to increase the salary to at lest $250 and hopefully more per month which is just slightly above the minimum wage of the country.

Once we have the budget worked out for the upcoming year we will publish it here.

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