CHILE: Technical college graduates first students
Don Bosco Industrial Technical College in Calama holds first graduation
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Industrial Technical College in Calama, a city in the Atacama Desert and capital of El Loa Province in northern Chile, held its first graduation. The college is part of the broader Salesian network of educational programs in the country. The entire Salesian community, as well as regional authorities and business representatives, participated in the graduation event.
The college started with 490 students and offers technical and vocational education for the industrial mining sector—with specific courses in mining, industrial mechanics and industrial electricity. Education is free for its students and classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
“Although the education system in the country is far-reaching, many poor and disadvantaged youth fall through the cracks,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Throughout the country, young people from poor families lack the educational opportunities available to the middle and upper classes.”
Salesian technical schools in Chile cater to students who have dropped out of school and are seeking a second chance. In many programs, students complete their education while engaging in internships with local employers. This increases the students’ hands-on work experience and chance of gaining livable wage employment after their studies are completed.
“Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social programs to poor and at-risk youth,” added Fr. Baek. “At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to find stable employment and improve their standard of living.”
According to the World Bank, Chile has a fairly low poverty rate of less than 10 percent. However, Chile struggles with high rates of income and education inequality. Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social services to poor and at-risk youth. At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty.
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Salesian Missions – Chile
World Bank – Chile