Shakira and Smartick Join Together to Improve Math in Colombia
The Barefoot Foundation (Fundación Pies Descalzos) was created by Shakira in 1997 to make quality public education available to Colombian children. Now, with Smartick’s help, they will bring this online mathematics learning method to five schools in the Foundation. These schools are located in the Colombian cities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Quibdó.
Javier Arroyo, Smartick co-founder, has recently signed an agreement with the Foundation. This agreement will allow for the world’s leading online method to be used in all of the Foundation’s schools. Smartick ”will donate 500 subscriptions, which costs between 60 and 70 million Colombian pesos. It aims to reinforce the quality education that the Foundation offers. The goal of the program is for children of any socioeconomic status to receive an excellent education.”
The school located in the neighborhood of La Playa, Barranquilla, will be the first to complete daily Smartick sessions. Arroyo has visited the country and explains that the agreement is the result of talks that Smartick and the Foundation have been having for the last year. Furthermore, to ensure the correct implementation of the Smartick method it was necessary to train teachers.
Smartick in Colombia
The program was already in place at the Foundation’s schools in Quibdó, Chocó. Now it will also be available in the schools in Barranquilla, where Shakira is from, and Cartagena.
As Arroyo explains, “this program allows for an exhaustive diagnosis for each child, identifying the areas that they have not mastered. In addition to this, a personalized lesson plan is put together for each child.” This will be a long term, five-year relationship between Smartick and the Barefoot Foundation resulting in a 725 million peso investment.
Smartick’s Artifical Intelligence makes it possible to adapt the content in real time. This way the child can ”work as closely as possible to their maximum capacity. By working slightly below this capacity, they are able to build their self-esteem and self-confidence.”
“Mathematics in the key to the future and the alliance with Smartick allows our schools to master mathematics. They develop critical thinking skills to solve problems while improving reading comprehension at the same time. This way, they increase the children’s motivation which is vital to achieving a passion for learning.” says Patricia Sierra, Executive Director, Barefoot Foundation.
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Master’s in International Education from the Universidad de Alcalá– Instituto Franklin.
She has worked as a teacher in three different countries and is now a Translator on the Content Creation Team at Smartick and helps to adapt content for blog posts.
As a native Rhode Islander she loves any activity on the water and when she’s not working you can find her traveling, kickboxing, or trying out a new recipe.