Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
MORE THAN ENGLISH COLOMBIA
Published on September 28, 2021 um 19:09
Type of Enterprise
Year the ngo or company was founded
Explain your project in details:
Colombia is a country which, despite its problems, is experiencing a positive transformation. New enterprises are opening and more foreign investors are willing to invest in local businesses. Even though the country is opening up to foreign influences, only a small percentage of the Colombian population speaks English. In my opinion, this language is essential if we want to see economic growth and cooperation with foreign investors to continue. Unfortunately, education in Colombia is a privilege, especially, when we talk about learning foreign languages. English courses are expensive and most of them follow the Prussian pedagogy which is based on punishment for making mistakes. It´s not surprising that students get discouraged very quickly. More Than English is a program that aims to come true the dream of people who want to learn communicate in English. The secret of our program is not platform or a technological too, what make us special is the people. We are comprised by collaborators from all around the world that use the cultural social context as a strategy for teaching English. Instead of buying expensive books we create our material and we contextualized it with the country. Our main goal is to have a virtual presence in 90% of the country by 2025 and make a real impact on English education.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
According to the organization "Education first" only 5% of the students from the public schools in Colombia had a B1 level in English in 2016. However, these results focus mainly on big cities like Bogotá, Medellin, Barranquilla, etc. If we visit small cities or rural towns we are going to find that the percentage is even lower. As an organization, we want to increase the level of these students and the community in general. Our objective is to improve the English level of people to impact their lives positively. We are using two ways to measure the impact of our project: 1. Every month we evaluate the English level of our students to see how is the learning process going. We don´t compare the results between each other but between themselves. In this way, we can see the improvement they have gotten. 2. Every year, students from the last year in high school must take an exam named "Pruebas Saber pro". This test evaluates different subjects including English. We are going to compare the last results with the ones that our students will get once they take them. Last year we were winners in the contest "Bonos de Innovacion", a program ran by the Colombian government that selected the most innovative programs of the state. Also, we were selected by the Universidad de La Sabana in Colombia to participate in their entrepreneurship program due to the high opportunities to scale up the program to the national level. This year the organization TESOL Colombia(a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance professionalism in English Language Teaching Education in the country) selected us as one of the best programs to learn English in the country.
Sustainability and future plans
As an organization, we want to democratize English learning with the help of technology to our target (low-income families). They learn English through the different platforms that we use and by the different strategies we manage to make the classes fun and engaging. Our business model has two lines. 1. City halls and municipalities: With our project, we can manage to have hundred of students and give classes. For towns from rural areas is a good opportunity as the project is affordable and easy to run. 2. Regular students: We are working on acquiring our platform to make the experience even better. Once we have it, we are going to open English courses at prices that can start from 20 dollars monthly. In this way, we will ensure everybody can afford it. We believe we can scale up this Project and make a positive impact on the whole continent.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Alejandro Clavijo, 33 years old Colombian. I have a degree in Agroindustrial Engineering, however, my interest in helping others and love for teaching addressed me to become a teacher in rural schools of Colombia. In the last 5 years, I have dedicated my life to offer English classes with the help of volunteers from abroad to people from all the social classes but focusing on people with low incomes. This year, Arturo Canchon joined the team and with him, we started to create new ways of teaching. Once Covid-19 put us in quarantine He and I decided to try new ways of teaching. Colombia is having a very positive process of transformation and I do believe the learning of languages is going to contribute a lot to the economy of Colombian society in the coming days. I have participated as Speaker in TESOL Dominican Republic. Also, I am part of the Universidad de La Sabana as a Social Entrepreneur.