“Hess' partnership has been a key factor in the success of the PRODEGE Program. I have seen a keen understanding of development processes and a sincere commitment to sustainable change in education in John Hess and Hess managers associated with the program. The support given by the Hess- Equatorial Guinea management and staff has been outstanding on all counts. National involvement and development is foremost in the Hess strategy.” – Carmen Siri, national director PRODEGE, Equatorial Guinea
The centerpiece of our Corporate Social Responsibility program is a large scale effort to transform primary education in the West African nation of Equatorial Guinea.
The initiative, PRODEGE (Program for Educational Development of Equatorial Guinea), is a $40 million public/private partnership led by Hess Corporation and the Government of Equatorial Guinea and implemented by the Academy for Educational Development.
In just two years, PRODEGE has established 40 model schools and introduced accelerated course work in basic math, language and science. The schools use an active learning technique that encourages students to build critical thinking skills and learn cooperatively.
Beyond classrooms, the partnership has also built latrines and drilled water wells to ensure that students now have safe, potable water and proper sanitation. New classroom furniture is being supplied by local businesses. Thirty-nine of 40 schools targeted for these improvements are now fully operating.
In 2008 PRODEGE launched a national teacher diploma course, and more than 1,100 local educators have completed the first year of certification. In addition, three out of five new curriculum modules were completed and published, and the final two will be completed in 2009. A quality teaching laboratory was established and a site was assigned for another.
The program also designed four teacher manuals and implemented its first student guide in 2008. Between the model schools and the diploma course, the program is reaching nearly half of the country’s primary school population.
To help strengthen skills at the Ministry of Education, PRODEGE completed the second and third rounds of a national effort to collect data about schools, which included a broad teacher study. Results were used to create a model schools map and three education statistics bulletins that, for the first time, gave supervisors data they can use in planning local education. The first study of teacher development is complete; policy forums are scheduled for 2009.