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A graduate who can turn students into agents of social change

El Salvador, 1 December, 2020. "Most of the time we assume that all people are born with moral and ethical values, but in addition to being adopted at an early age in our family environment, these must be reinforced in our work environment, and in this case, in the educational environment, which is one of the most significant socializing agents in the formation of the person," explains Maritza Isabel Ramirez de Alberto, teacher at the Liceo Salvadoreño.
Ramírez was one of the 75 participants in the Diploma for Trainers in Ethics and Integrity, aimed at primary, secondary and higher education teachers, through the "Education for Justice" initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
This diploma "has allowed us to emphasize the person, focusing on what makes us happy, feeling satisfied in our work and living a full life," added the educator, who knows that by sharing this learning with students, they will become agents of social change.
In her opinion "it has been a rewarding experience, which has strengthened, through the structure of the curriculum and the guidance provided by Giovanna Vega, the ethical and moral values that not only a teacher, but every human being should have, so that we can integrate ourselves in an empathetic and respectful way into society.
Formation from the root
For Gloria Coto, a technician from the Government Ethics Tribunal's Disclosure and Training Unit, the training has added to her knowledge, but also "the desire to be able to pay for the moral and ethical growth of early childhood.
Mario Guevara, a teacher at the "Profesora Lilian Isabel Peña de Orellana" School Center, has found "the idea of ethically training primary school students excellent, since people must prepare themselves from the root". The graduate has provided "inputs to be able to teach children values and ethics". He acknowledges that "that potential (of teaching) is in each of us, only sometimes we don't know how to develop it".
Great changes for El Salvador
According to Ada Melvin Villalta, who works at the Government Ethics Tribunal, this diploma "has allowed us to collectively build an extraordinary approach through a learning experience that has explored emotions, that human part and the critical and rational consciousness of the participants".
He added that the activity has cemented "the need and importance of promoting a culture of legality, respect for freedoms, human rights, native peoples, to cultivate historical memory, ethical principles and values and the usefulness of what is believed to be useless, such as joy and happiness, to turn teachers into agents of change from the family, the educational community and society in general.
He affirms that this diploma raised teachers' awareness "to turn them into transforming agents of significant change for university students.
"I will implement the strategies and teaching techniques learned since the topics, more than laws or rules, are philosophy for life, to forge the character of students, to encourage curiosity, their passion for knowledge, it is about forming free citizens, with critical thinking".   
This collaborator of the Ethics Tribunal emphasizes that "education is key to the transformation of peoples, and if the family, school and society bet on improving education, forging our own character as parents, teachers and the State does its part, we will achieve great changes in the new generations for El Salvador.

Ethics as a transversal axis
"Tasteful and excellent," described Reynaldo Moisés Flores Guerrero, educator at Irena Sendler School, the diploma in ethics and integrity offered by UNODC.

The training has been "an important tool for the formation of new leaders, the configuration of a new society, in order to contribute to a better Salvadoran society.
He assures that he will put into practice what he has learned "taking ethics as a transversal axis in the development of the subject of Social (...) with the sole purpose of having a society more aware of the importance of ethics in public service".
Nancy Stefany Alberto de Vargas, from the Liceo Salvadoreño, highlighted the methodological resources she learned in the diploma course "such as videos, presentations, stories, schemes and others", which she will apply in her classes, "proposing different and significant learning experiences for children and young people".
Connected to the Salvadoran reality
"Ethics and integrity are so inseparably connected to the most important issues in higher education and especially to the Salvadoran reality that I can say that ethics is very important in the preparation of students at any educational level," thinks René Douglas E. Castro Serrano, professor at the Faculty of Jurisprudence and Social Sciences of the Open Modular University.
He praises the "trainer, a person with vast experience in ethics issues, who made the classes very enjoyable, as well as the choice of the participants, people with enormous knowledge in their specialties, from which I learned many things, which left me with many ideas that I will apply within the development of my subjects. The material used by the trainer "was very well selected" and, without a doubt, she will use it within the development of the subject matter taught by Ethics and Professional Development.
He remembers that the participants were looking forward to the conversation every Friday, a practice that reaffirmed "the importance in the attention of young and not so young university students and the need to encourage them to practice ethical and moral values, so important in the improvement of our society.
Castro thanked UNODC "for this great opportunity to learn more about the issue of ethics and integrity for university teachers, as it provided a meeting place with other university teachers", where he could share "experience, methodological strategies and even contacts for future collaborations with public institutions".