Magis Americas, along with the International Federation of Fe y Alegría (FIFyA) and the Association of Universities entrusted to the Society of Jesus in Latin America (AUSJAL), has signed an unprecedented agreement with IBM to expand the P-TECH education model in Latin America. As part of the agreement, Magis Americas will receive a $2 million grant, to be used over three years, to implement the model in 45 schools, including three schools in Argentina, 14 in Colombia, 15 in Ecuador, one in Guatemala and 12 in Peru.
“We are excited to partner with IBM through the implementation of the P-TECH model,” said Nate Radomski, Executive Director of Magis Americas. “This partnership is a wonderful opportunity to continue our support of Fe y Alegría and AUSJAL as they strive toward the construction of just, dignified and equitable societies in Latin America.”
P-TECH is a “9-14 school model” that allows students to develop academic, technical and professional skills, by taking high school and college coursework simultaneously and engaging in industry-guided workforce development.
“Despite its growing working age population, Latin America currently has a serious shortage of vocational and technical skills. Approximately one-fifth of Latin American youth, 30 million people, are not employed or participate in academic activities or training, ” said Ana Paula Assis, General Manager of IBM Latin America. “To meet this growing need, IBM created the P-TECH education model to fill gaps in the labor market and to help the next generation of business and technology leaders succeed.”
Starting in 2020, students will begin a curriculum that lasts at least 3 years in duration.
“We are very proud to support the expansion of the innovative and inclusive P-TECH model throughout Latin America to provide even more skills for students, for life-changing career opportunities,” said Guillermo Miranda, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at IBM. “IBM has always emphasized the importance of investing in the progress of regions around the world through education. With this initiative, we are leading the way for Latin American students to develop the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. “
IBM, Fe y Alegría, AUSJAL and Magis Americas will create a working group to collaborate and plan the expansion and growth of the model, enabling new alliances that will allow Fe y Alegría students across the region to acquire critical skills in the workplace and provide them with higher education credentials, opening up new professional and university opportunities. In addition, IBM will provide students with access to IBM learning platforms, including ptech.org and SkillsBuild.org.
“Fe y Alegría has worked in education with community groups for many years, and we believe that P-TECH is a great initiative that promotes social inclusion through STEM learning,” said Carlos Fritzen, S.J., FIFyA General Coordinator. “Allowing equal educational opportunities is key.”
In the coming months, IBM, Fe y Alegría, AUSJAL and Magis Americas will also work with the business sector to prepare students for the working world with initiatives such as individual mentoring, interview simulations, company visits, training for teachers and students, professional skills courses/workshops and paid internships.
“The agreement is committed to developing innovation models that articulate quality and inclusion in the integral development of our countries,” said Ernesto Cavassa, S.J., Rector of Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (Lima, Peru) and President of AUSJAL. “This association [AUSJAL] includes 30 universities, some of which will participate in the program through the training of P-TECH and Fe y Alegria teachers, the incorporation of graduates of the program to the universities, monitoring and evaluation of results and advocacy that allow the contribution of technological innovation in the transformation of Latin American societies,” concluded Cavassa.