While working with educators at the local Colon Province schools, GAGPAN determined
that the public schools were decades behind
the rest of the industrialized world. Students had no books.
Teachers had no access to the proper instructional materials
and in many cases they were
teaching from memory. Schools were
crowded and the existing educational system was incapable of providing classroom
teaching at an
acceptable level. The
curriculum was years behind the requirements for a graduate
to be trained for employment in the present global economy.
also discovered that the entire Panama public school system was suffering from the
same problems as the Colon Province schools. The public school system
throughout the country lacked the ability to meet the educational
challenges for the 21st century, that required producing a graduate qualified to enter the global
percent of the work force, comprising some 460,000
Panamanians, were without work and not qualified to
find gainful employment due to the inadequate and outdated
Students were graduating from the Panama public school
system every year and were unable to find work because
of the poor education they had received after 12 years
The entire country
was approaching a financial and civil disaster, as the
government could not maintain the social programs required
as a result of such high unemployment.
By 2004, the major work in Colon was gradually completed and the Board of Directors of Gente Ayudando Gente gave approval to establish an office in the capital, Panama City, and develop the Arriba! Panama program to undertake the challenge to change the educational system in the entire country.
GAGPAN began a
search for a teaching system that could meet the challenge
to provide a quality education to the students of the Panama
Public Schools. After consulting with local teachers,
administrators, students and educational experts in Panama
and other countries, it was determined that a digital
teaching method would allow rapid transformation to a modern
A typical digital
teaching system would consist of thousands of computers for
use in classrooms and technology laboratories, allowing the
students and teachers access to the knowledge of the world.
A Modern 21st Century Digital Learning System
Basic computer Instruction
for grades K through 6
Learning the multi-media programs
with audio and video
in a typical technology center
are also connected to the Internet
computers to learn English
Two-way video conferencing
Incorporated in the
new digital system, and to further enhance the educational
process, would be access to virtual libraries worldwide over
the Internet, 2-way video-conferencing systems and a digital
English language curriculum for grades K though 12.
The GAGPAN goal is
to convert the Panama public school system, from the present
inadequate institution, to a modern 21st century digital learning
program, capable of providing a world-class education to the
GAGPAN, at the same time,
would develop a separate educational program to train the unemployed
adults to speak English, in order that they may be
qualified to obtain Internet based employment.
A trained English-speaking Panamanian adult, using the Internet and VOIP telephone technology, could obtain Internet based employment working for a major firm in another country, without leaving Panama.
This source of jobs could alleviate the severe unemployment problem
The GAGPAN educational effort has grown to include volunteers in all
of the provinces of the Republic with thousands of parent
volunteers working to improve the school system.