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SPAIN: Salesian centers María Auxiliadora and Salesianos Estrecho are recognized as Google Reference Schools

(MissionNewswire) The Salesian centers, María Auxiliadora in Santander and Salesianos Estrecho in Madrid, are two of only 12 centers in Spain recognized as Google Reference Schools. These Google Reference Schools are part of a select group of schools and colleges that show a strong commitment to using technology throughout the educational environment.

María Auxiliadora is the first school in the autonomous region of Cantabria to have received this recognition by Google. The center offers an education based on Christian development along with core components of multilingualism, digital competence and methodologies such as cooperative learning and project work.

Students attending María Auxiliadora can attend the educational center from nursery school up to secondary school. Courses are offered in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and the arts. The center also offers vocational training courses in manufacturing and assembly and electrical and automatic mechanized installation and a more advanced level course in telecommunications and computer systems.

Father Miguel Ángel García Morcuende, SDB of the Department School-Formation of the Dicastery for Youth Ministry, notes, “Technology does not reinvent pedagogy, but expands its possibilities. We are pioneers in educational diversity and have the best specialists to accompany students in the different phases of their evolutionary development.”

Staff at María Auxiliadora are constantly working to improve the education and opportunities provided to students. The center recently implemented a dual training program which integrates classroom training with hands-on training in companies. Father Morcuende adds, “Our next challenge and our main commitment is to bring business realities into high school classrooms, even before the kids get to university. We are also looking for the participation of families in the center’s projects and want to design a program that address emotional education at a general level from the very earliest age.”

The center has a great success rate for graduates who finish vocational training. Father Morcuende says, “It should be noted that the percentage of employment at the end of the vocational training courses is 100 percent.”

Salesian centers in Spain operate close to 50 vocational and technical training centers that employ 1,300 teachers and offer 17,000 students a chance to gain an education. All Salesian centers have the support of companies from a variety of business sectors to give students real-world work experience.

Close to 37 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.

Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential and technical and vocational training programs.



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