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Grant Status Report: $12,500 to the Scalesia Foundation for Education for Sustainability in Classrooms

Date: June 26, 2020

Earlier this year, IGTOA provided over $150,000 in grants to organizations working on the frontlines of Galapagos conservation. Recently, grant recipients were asked to provide an update on the status of the projects for which the grants were awarded.

The Scalesia Foundation  was established in 1993 by community leaders in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos who were concerned about the poor quality of education in the islands and who believed that the foundation could serve as a local voice and champion for education reform.

The foundation requested $25,000 to help fund the salaries of two science teacher at the Tomas de Berlanga school on Santa Cruz. In addition to teaching at the school, the teachers serve as trainers in the foundation's Education for Sustainability in Classrooms, which provides professional development and training to all teachers working in the Galapagos Islands.

IGTOA's board voted to award $12,500 in grant funding. You can read the original grant application here and the grant update report here. To date, the foundation has spent $1,923 of the grant on teachers' salaries and the foundation says that the remaining grant will be used to cover 25% of the teachers' salaries for the first half of the academic year. 

The Education for Sustainability Program has not suffered major financial impact thanks to previously committed grants. The planned schedule for the training during the academic year 2020-20201 was moved from July to mid-October. The training methodology to be used this year will depend on the situation on the islands.

The school, unfortunately, has not fared as well. Tourism accounts for 70% of the Galapagos economy, and its cessation in mid-March forced many parents to unenroll their children, most of whom received some sort of discounted tuition or financial aid.  Tuition fees for the 2020-2021 school year were expected to account for approximately $700,000 in revenue, but now the foundation is projecting just $314,000 in tuition revenue. As a result, the school was forced to announce its closure in April. The announcement  generated a landslide of support from parents, alumni, students, local leaders, and other donors and the school remained open.

Still, the school faces many financial challenges and is facing a $94,000 budget shortfall for the current academic year. The start of the academic year was pushed back from April to June and is now classes are are conducted online because the school is closed. Unfortunately, many students are not able to participate because they access to the internet and computers. 

Galapagos_mk
Matt Kareus

Matt is the Executive Director of IGTOA.


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