2-Vice-Ministra-de-Educacion-de-Panama-en-Aldea-Digital-2015-int1For Carlos Slim Foundation, education is the gateway to a free, healthy, just and prosperous society. Therefore, every year the Foundation expands its education program that contributes to students’ formation, by providing several consumables and supporting them from their early life until their graduate studies. As every year, Aldea Digital (Digital Village) is presented as an excellent showcase to spread this education program and its various tools.

The visit of Maria Castro, Vice-Minister of Education of Panama, was conducted during the opening week of Aldea Digital 2015 — held in the Zocalo (Principal Square) of Mexico City, since this event represented an opportunity for the distinguished visitor to know the digital tools offered by the Foundation as part of its education program.

Representing Marcela Paredes de Vasquez, Minister of Education of Panama, the guest of honor cut the event’s inauguration ribbon next to the Head of the Government of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera and Carlos Slim Helu, to then walk around the impressive facilities of the Aldea.

Vice-Minister Castro was very interested in the materials of Early Education, a program that is committed to strengthening the comprehensive development of children in early childhood. This program significantly improves children’s quality of life and opportunities through giving training in affective domain to adults close to them. The aim of this is that children can count with a responsible adult capable of satisfying their emotional needs in each place they develop.

Panama currently has programs for developing school infrastructure, but now the Ministry of Education is seeking to introduce innovative educational content and tools based on the case of Colombia, where the Ministry of Education of Colombia used Prueba T (T Test) – a platform created by the Carlos Slim Foundation to support the preparation of teachers and students —  to help 1,459 young people from 380 schools who represented the country in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

T test arises in order to provide quality educational tools at no cost to Latin America countries that want to prepare their teachers, students and parents to the challenges of an increasingly competitive global context. In order to support Panama to face PISA, Carlos Slim Foundation and the Ministry of Education of Panama will begin work together to create a strategy to help the students and teachers of the Central American country to submit the test successfully.

On the other hand, Panama’s government wants to promote technological education focused on employment; therefore, Vice-Minister Castro was also very interested in Capacítate para el Empleo (Get Trained for Employment). This platform is an initiative of Carlos Slim Foundation which mission is offering free online training to people of all ages. It has no time limits and previous studies are not required. The training is focused in different occupations and technical-operational activities from different production sectors. The platform already has more than 100 000 students enrolled from 23 countries and offers online training in 32 occupations.

The Panama’s education official was impressed with Khan Academy and the section of Programming and Robotics, since in Panama, this type of training is implemented in some schools at high school level, but they want to introduce it in primary schools as is already done in Mexico.

Finally, Maria Castro witnessed testing performed through Medición Integrada para la Detección Oportuna (MIDO – Integrated Measurement for Early Detection). This tool allows comprehensively monitoring a single patient, and detecting early and simultaneously 5 possible conditions: cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and obesity. MIDO is a strategy that seeks to change the old paradigm where there were only two scenarios: healthy or sick. Its main idea is focusing in the gap the two scenarios, in order to detect those in risk of developing one of these conditions and those “pre-sick”, such as pre-diabetics; since early detection and prevention opens a greater window of opportunity to combat chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCD). Apparently, Castro had a good result when she performed the MIDO test.

If you have not visited Aldea Digital 2015, do not miss the event of larger digital inclusion in Latin America; held from 10 to 26 July in the Zocalo, Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm.