This equal opportunities programme is designed to give disadvantaged children with excellent school grades the opportunity to learn French, a language that could later open doors to higher education. The programme also keeps the French language in the public sector.
In 2012, the Alliance Française launched a grant and sponsorship programme called Greater Opportunities with the Alliance Française. Programme rollout was driven mainly by local authority involvement (especially the Ministry for Education). Today, the programme funds 159 grant holders nationwide. The Guayaquil Alliance Française has received a huge amount of support from City Hall to fund a total of 130 grant holders, 111 of whom are currently enrolled in French classes. The Quito Alliance Française has 29 students on the programme, supported mainly by local business.
The programme targets Ecuadorians in state lower secondary schools to:
- Prevent the disappearance of French from Ecuadorian state lower secondary schools;
- Build awareness of equal opportunities and the humanist value of the Alliance Française;
- Promote French as a foreign language and the French speaking world;
- Promote French higher education.
Players and partnerships
The sponsors (educational institutions, municipalities, businesses, etc.) undertake to fund students’ lessons for a total of 200 class hours. They are informed of the progress made by the students they are sponsoring at the end of each module.
The Alliance Française relies mainly on educational institutions to choose pupils whose profiles meet the defined selection criteria. These institutions are well placed to select potential candidates from among their pupils.
The Alliance Française supports and assists students in two ways. The Education Department assigns the grant holders to the different classes offered by the Alliance Française. In March 2015, an educational support system was set up to tutor struggling students based an individual syllabus geared to their needs.
What does the future hold?
Sponsors have recently requested that the profiles of students on grants tie in with their business activity. For example, for a sponsor in the chocolate sector, a top-quality commodity in Ecuador, the Alliance Française would look for a student aspiring to a career as a confectioner and chocolate maker. The idea is for profiles to be more targeted to improve the match between the programme’s different players.
In the medium term, the Alliance Française may also envisage working with certain businesses that have already developed social programmes.
The Alliance Française is always actively on the lookout for new sponsors to widen its circle of sponsors.
- French Embassy in Quito
- France Volontaires in Ecuador
- Alliance française in Quito
- Campus France in Ecuador
- French Research Institutes Abroad (IFRE agency) – French Institute for Andean Studies (IFEA)
- Find Cooperation and Cultural Action Network news at LatitudeFrance
Next week, a new network innovation as we diversify our resources in Madagascar.