The Colombian government has announced plans to recruit U.S. volunteers to improve English levels in schools.
The 36 volunteers will work with more than 5,000 pupils in schools which authorities believe could most benefit from extra help.
Colombia’s Education Minister Maria Fernanda Campo announced the ambitious goal of bringing the percentage of students leaving high school with proficiency in English to 40% by 2012 — four times the government’s recorded rate in 2010.
A study released this month reported even more dismal figures, claiming only 3% of high school graduates spoke intermediate or advanced English, and 93% spoke no English at all.
The volunteers, recruited through U.S. NGO World Teach, will work as assistant teachers in 19 schools in Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena, Baru and Monteria.
As well as teaching in schools they will offer classes in local communities.