2006 General Category Winner
Corporaci Oacute; Municipal de Punta Arenas, Chile
The Citizenship and Local Management Program in Chile
The Citizenship and Local Management Program in Chile
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In order to lower the number of school dropouts and to mitigate the associated social problems (including crime and increased drug use), local authorities in Punta Arenas have sought to create a participative educational system. In this model, students work with their educators to decide how their studies will proceed and to learn methods of civic engagement and community participation. Classrooms are also participative public spaces where students are encouraged to be flexible and to focus on their development as people within a larger community.

The benefits of this program have become clear as a high number of its beneficiaries have graduated and successfully entered the labor force. The program not only offers a concrete multidisciplinary solution to the problem of academic absenteeism; it also creates emotional bonds between educators and young people.