Catholic School Networks Serving Low-Income Learners (CSNL)

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With the goal of sharing effective practices and developing an ongoing collaboration to bring quality education to low income learners in the spirit of the Catholic Church’s preferential option to serve the poor, the Catholic School Networks Serving Low-Income Learners (CSNL) was started in October 2012, bringing together Jesuit Refugee Service, Cristo Rey Network and Fe y Alegría.

In March 2014 in Lima, the Education Secretariat of the Society of Jesus organized a meeting to establish a common understanding of the technology currently being used in schools and opportunities to increase the use of blended/online learning. Together, they developed a plan for collaboration to focus on teacher effectiveness and student job training between Cristo Rey Network and Fe y Alegría.

In April 2015, and thanks to a grant from the Jesuit Curia in Rome, CSNL started a project with the objective to create a task force to explore and propose ways in which blended/online education could be offered to the poor through the participants’ networks.

The focus of this partnership is to leverage technology to combine effective practices from Cristo Rey and Fe y Alegría to create a world class web-based jobs skills training program that will benefit not only students in our schools but students from low-income families worldwide. CSNL will collaborate in the following areas:

  1. Develop a common curriculum focusing on both soft and technical skills.
  2. Establish an electronic evaluation system to measure student workplace readiness and the effectiveness of the program.
  3. Create a web-based instructional platform for key soft and technical skills.
  4. Create learning networks mediated by mobile technology.
  5. Connect students of different countries to enrich their global knowledge.

More than 5.000 students from 22 Fe y Alegría schools in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela will join students of several schools from the Cristo Rey Network on this grant for the next two years.

During the first few months, the work is focused on getting to know each other, sharing information, best practices and know-how related to digital learning, measuring systems and technical skills curriculum.

The relationship between these two networks is getting stronger every day, and we looking forward to working together to increase opportunities for low-income learners.


This post was written by Asier Bengoa, coordinator of the Vocational Training Program at the International Federation of Fe y Alegría and representative of Fe y Alegría within Catholic School Networks Serving Low-Income Learners. 

This post was originally published on Jesuit Networking.