Autonomy and education in the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua

In 1987, after a sanguinary war in Nicaragua the national government approved the Autonomy Law (Law 28). This law further confirms that the process of Autonomy enriches the national culture; recognizes and strengthens ethnic identity, respecting the specificities of the cultures of the communities of the Atlantic Coast; rescues the history of them and recognizes the right of ownership over the lands; repudiates any form of discrimination; recognizes religious freedom and recognizes different identities to build national unity from them.

Located in the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua are the indigenous groups Miskito, Sumu-Mayagnas and Rama, and the ethnic groups Garífuna and Creoles. Also the Mestizo community which is one of the major groups.

Until the adoption of the law of autonomy for the Caribbean Coast, the history that was taught in the Caribbean Coast was exclusively the Pacific history. Languages of Indigenous ​​and African descent had no presence in schools, since learning was done in Spanish. Just as with the Sami indigenous group in Norway, assimilation policies were implemented so that these lost their language and cultural values. The Church and the missionaries were the first to develop these policies turning to Christianity and transforming the religious, social and economic structures.

Actually, the Caribbean Coast has the Regional Autonomous Education Subsystem (SEAR), this is an educational model built from below, based on the worldviews of the people, responding to their characteristics, demands, interests and aspirations.

SEAR has been the response to the communities of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, in terms of bilingual education. This provides an opportunity for children, adolescents, youth and adults, to receive education in their native languages​​. This is being achieved through the training of teachers, community participation in the planning and management of education and ystematization of spelling and grammar of regional languages ​​(Twahka, Ulwa, Creole), among others.

However, SEAR has the challenge of achieving real and effective decentralization. This process should be based not only on the recognition of the rights and powers of the Autonomous Regions to manage their own education based on their educational model, but also the transfer of resources such as financial, material, technical and infrastructure. The process of Autonomy is for each and everyone in the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, and this will be fully achieved THROUGH educational systems.

Tekst: Jennifer Ulrika Solis Flores (Nicaragua): Landbruksingeniør. Jobber som teknisk lærer på landbruks- og miljøskolen i Wawashang, et utdanningsprosjekt fra LAGs samarbeidsorganisasjon i Nicaragua FADCANIC. Deltar i årets solidaritetsbrigade til Norge.

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