Local January 23, 2024 | 9:47 am

President Abinader introduces tech innovations in Dominican education

Santo Domingo.- On Monday, President Luis Abinader unveiled a range of technologies aimed at enhancing basic education in science, mathematics, and arts in the Dominican Republic.

The president emphasized that the government’s provision of technology for education enables progress in jobs, development, and transformation for the country. He highlighted the success of the Technical Vocational Training Institute (INFOTEP), which has trained 2 million people and graduated 67 thousand individuals in technology programs. Notably, the number of centers has grown from 7 in 2019 to 38 in 2023.

President Abinader provided insights into various educational initiatives, including the Educational Robotics Program, which delivered over 17,638 science and robotics resources and sent 9,975 steam and robotics sets to classrooms. The goal for 2024 is to establish 1,780 new centers and impact 1 million students.

The implementation of the Steam methodology (science-technology-engineering-arts-mathematics) through the Ministry of Education has benefited 500 thousand students in the public system. Additionally, 7,510 teachers have been trained in educational robotics, with 2,397 new teachers included in the program in 2023.

The president highlighted the success of the robotics camps, benefiting 5,000 public system students in 2023 with a RD$37 million investment. The goal for 2024 is to reach 16 thousand students nationwide.

The open book platform has addressed concerns from parents about children lacking books, with 220,901 books downloaded from the link www.libroabierto.minerd.gob.do.

President Abinader emphasized the technological equality between public and private education, citing the achievements of the public education system in events like the First Lego League, where it won 9 of the 16 prizes.

He provided an update on the Technological Institute of the Americas (ITLA), reporting increased demand and more extensions. Currently, there are 5 new extensions, with 6 under construction. 98% of ITLA graduates find jobs with an average salary of about RD$70 thousand. Over 10 thousand applications are currently received for the scholarship program.

The president mentioned 97 programs focusing on technology and a green economy, including agrotechnology, agrobotics, renewable energy, electric mobility, and more.

Minister of Education Ángel Hernández reported that 2,950 schools are connected by fiber optics, enabling hybrid education in 2,900 schools, benefiting over 1 million 200 thousand children.

ITLA Director Omar Méndez announced a strategic alliance with INDOTEL and the inauguration of a facility in Moca in March, accommodating more than 4 thousand young people. Additionally, a new continuing training center in Monte Plata is planned, along with an extension in Pedernales in February. The government program aims to use Moca and Santiago as campuses, expanding enrollment capacity to 15,000, compared to 3,090 in 2020.

Méndez highlighted ITLA’s success in the health field with the ProtoScanner 3D project, providing free scanning and manufacturing of prostheses. To date, more than 378 prostheses have been placed, and new 3D printers arriving this year will allow the production of over 500 prostheses.

In an effort to strengthen continuous training, President Luis Abinader has decided to make it completely free, benefiting municipalities and provinces nationwide from this year onwards.

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