LA LIBERTAD- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the Ministry of Education, inaugurated today the reconstruction works of the José María Peralta Lagos National Institute, in the municipality of Quezaltepeque. With a total investment by USAID of $2.9 million dollars, the new facilities will benefit more than 500 high school students, 30 teachers and 12 administrative staff members.
The inauguration ceremony was presided over by the Mayor of Quezaltepeque Salvador Saget; Minister of Education Carla Hanania; U.S. Ambassador Ronald Johnson; and IOM Deputy Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras Salvador Gutierrez.
For the construction of the educational center, the highest quality standards were used under the principles of energy efficiency and universal accessibility, making it one of the most modern public educational institutions in the country. The design for the building had the support of experts in various disciplines who ensured compliance with technical, environmental, cultural, social and safety standards during the design and construction stages.
In addition, a community participation component was included to ensure that the school would respond to the needs and aspirations of the community.
The educational center now has 11 classrooms, a computer center, a science laboratory, workshops for electrical and baking vocational training, access for people with motor or visual disabilities and ample space for student recreation.
The infrastructure expands access to quality education for Quezaltepeque, where a significant percentage of the population of the urban area is enrolled in the high school, which is the only public high school available in the municipality and surrounding areas. Access to educational opportunities is essential to keep at-risk youth away from violence and irregular migration. Over the years, the old facilities of this national institute were strongly impacted by natural phenomena.
Data from the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME) indicate that more than 6,600 migrant children and adolescents were returned to El Salvador in 2019. One of the most commonly expressed factors for migration is the lack of access to opportunities, including education.. Generating safe, inclusive, and adequate spaces for the student community and their families promotes opportunities and reduces the likelihood of migrating or re-migrating irregularly.