The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School at Estelí opened in 1993. There are about 770 pupils, 530 in primary all of whom receive free education a programme which is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, and 240 in secondary of whom about one-third receive either full or part scholarships. There is also a technical school that gives training in dressmaking, accounting, computer, commerce and secretarial duties as well as two workshops for carpentry and agriculture for about 500 students.
The primary school has16 classrooms, a library, some administrative rooms, a cafeteria, a kitchen, and a playground. The secondary school has10 classrooms, 3 laboratories for chemistry, biology and physics, a library, an administrative building, a teachers' room, a cafeteria, a store room and a basketball field. The primary and the secondary schools both have a very good reputation because of the high standard of teaching. In order to use the building all day long and thereby increase the capacity to the maximum, classes are held in two sessions, so that some classes have lessons in the morning while others go to school in the afternoon. In 1995 four classrooms of the secondary school were adapted to become the new SOS Vocational Training Centre. Since the region does not have any vocational schools other than the SOS Vocational Training Centre, the initiative was also welcomed by the local authorities.
Update report from 2008:
In primary education, 98% of school retention was obtained. Out of these 89% approved the grade. All these children are coming from surrounding neighbourhoods where families present very low economic indexes. This year a total of 167 children concluded primary education and as an outstanding achievement, we have that the national best student is part of this SOS School Estelí.
The school retention was of 96% throughout the year in secondary education. The reached levels of approval in secondary education are of 87%, being one of the highest approval levels in the country. A total of 76 students finished secondary school obtaining their high school degree.
The school retention in technical education was 96% and the approval was 95%. In this modality, they concluded technical studies, 27 girls were trained in dressmaking, 25 in technical accounting, 29 as executive secretaries and 22 as computer operators. These students carried out their pre-professionals practices at different companies and institutions with excellent results.
With the support of the feeding programme of the Ministry of Education and the direct participation of parents, we have implemented the school snack for children in primary school, elevating the nourishment levels and improving the conditions of weight and height of 1,152 children. We attended the same number of children with mouthwashes and stomach purge in coordination with Ministry of Health.
Students participated in events and competitions promoted by the Ministry of Education and the national association of SOS Children obtaining significant places in mathematics, Spanish grammar, physics, drawing and painting contests; this makes us remain in the first places at the municipal and departmental level.
A characterisation of the beneficiary families of this school was carried out as a part of the working process with families for the family strengthening programme. This allowed identifying which students are subjected of domestic violence, abuse and chronic illnesses. This process allowed offering them special attention in the psycho-affective, educational and methodological treatment. They were sent to the corresponding instances. We also worked in the labour training of parents achieving that 64 mothers concluded courses of dressmaking, confectionery, haircutting and handiworks.
Five meetings of parents were organised in topics related to the promotion and the defence of children and adolescents’ rights, maternal and paternal responsibility, self-esteem and sexuality. These meetings had a valuable participation of parents and the results were very positive.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School opened in 1999. It has the capacity to teach up to 1000 pupils.
Update report from 2008:
This year was very positive regarding the firmly reintroduction of the respect for children and adolescents’ rights in all the school activities. We developed several reflection and training meetings to ensure a job under the rights approach as working principle of SOS Children’s Nicaragua. There has been a change in attitudes and now we can say that the relationships are more respectful throughout the educational community including the school staff, parents, mothers, and students as well.
School year 2008 ended in primary education with a 100% of retention and the approval was of 93%. In secondary education, the retention was 93% and the approval was 62%. 61 students concluded their high school. In technical education, we had 100% retention and approval and 34 accountants and 35 executive secretaries graduated and they are preparing for their labour insertion.
A total of 31 public and private companies continue offering opportunities for the realisation of the pre-professional practices, achieving that a total of 14 students were contracted permanently.
For the families’ strengthening, we carried out a series of training processes to 665 parents and guardians in key issues such as responsible paternity and maternity benefits, children and adolescents’ rights and about upbringing style. We also worked on the implementation of a system of reference and counter-reference achieving that 68 cases were canalised in health, legal and law issues related to domestic violence, self-risk behaviour and suicide attempt. We supported several complains of mistreat and alimony demands. Besides, we offered training workshops for 30 mothers in different occupations.
On 24 October, the Programme of United Nations Volunteers (VNU, for its acronym in Spanish) recognised this school with the participation of ten students in the development of murals at the UN headquarters in Managua.
As a part of the students’ integral training, 20 children will participate in the competition of Christmas cards organised by SOS Children Nicaragua. 14 children will participate in a music workshop given by a father and two folk dance groups were set up with the participation of 22 boys and girls who have made performances at national and local events.
With a large participation of students, fathers and mothers, the former “Internal Rules” were transformed in the new “Rules for Life at School” with a rights approach.
As a part of the celebration of the anniversary of the school, internal sports tournament were organised. We also had the participation of students in an external tournament that involved students from 15 schools of Managua. At this tournament, students of our school got eight trophies.