Quito, May 29, 2018

Drafting FIDAL

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Eduardo Pérez, best Ibero-American teacher: "the Educational Excellence award marked and compromised my life"

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'+ Cómics + Paz' was the project with which Eduardo Pérez León was proclaimed the best teacher of the V Ibero-American Contest of Educational Excellence promoted by the Foundation for the Integration and Development of Latin America (FIDAL).

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Pérez, a teacher at the Rafael Uribe Uribe School in Cúcuta, Colombia, submitted the project along with 63 proposals from more than 12 Ibero-American countries and, after strict evaluation by a special jury, won the Educational Excellence award with an economic incentive of $ 5,000 and a trip to the Microsoft Education Exchange event next year.

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Without a doubt, his new ideas and his effort to excel in teaching have not been in vain. Next, a brief interview with Eduardo Pérez León from Cucuteño.

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1. How did your teaching career start?

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. I really liked doing computer programs as a hobby, so one day I decided to study a specialization in educational computing, the classmates were all teachers, they discovered in me the talent and vocation to be a teacher, they motivated me to start my career as teacher and that's how I started in this beautiful profession.

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2. How would you define teaching?

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Like the art of making students fall in love with knowledge. A teacher must be creative, innovative, spiritual, helpful, investigative, visionary, technological, generous, understanding with their students, and passionate about educating.

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3. What is the project '+ Cómics + Paz' with which you won the V Ibero-American Contest of Educational Excellence? How did the idea come about and what plans do you have for the future with the project?

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A former student of the school did a thesis about how the comic was a tool to produce texts and tell anecdotes. This fact inspired me to try the comic as a useful tool to overcome bullying problems. From the beginning we noticed that this tool was very powerful and after convincing more people in the student community, the project '+ Cómics + Paz' emerged.

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The project is a group educational experience (includes all managers, teachers, students and graduates) that has allowed the school environment of the institution to achieve significant improvements through technological tools. It consists of solving school conflicts, especially bullying, cyberbullying, sexting, grooming and cyberdependence.

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The experience has been satisfactory for all students, seeing that everything they produce at school is valued outside of it, for example: posters, magazines, calendars, cartoons, e-books, albums and a digital magazine.

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A main objective of the project is to continue replicating the experience at the national and international level as a means of preventing many school conflicts and to continue participating in competitions to continue obtaining academic and technological resources that favor the institution.

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4. Tell us about your experience in Ecuador, regarding the award night of the Contest

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Receiving the Educational Excellence award marked and committed my life so that every day I can be a better example to follow. I also want to add that the days lived in the country of the middle of the world were spectacular, I will never forget the climb to the Cotopaxi volcano, the Expo Innovation Fair, the teachers I met and the friendships that were started. Today I can say that the FIDAL Foundation and Ecuador have left an indelible mark on my heart.

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5. What are your next educational projects?

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Continue strengthening the school projects that have recently started at the institution. One of them is 'Piensa Paz', whose objective is to involve parents in the learning processes of their children. Another is 'YouTubers of Peace', which consists of encouraging students to be YouTubers who provide positive advice. Finally, to promote the 'Fall in love with the U' project, which aims for our students to reach university.

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6. What message would you leave to the teachers of Ibero-America to change education in the region?

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The responsibility that teachers assume in this profession is very high, due to the fact that we are contributing to the education of students who are not our children, but who should be seen as if they were. For this reason, we must not lose heart in our work of service, knowing that one day we will receive the reward.

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It is time for the teachers of Ibero-America to unite in the same spirit, having the same objectives and the same goals for the fact of being brother peoples. Only if we extend arms of friendship will we achieve better educational results and, therefore, greater achievements in society.