Growing numbers of students and faculty are using News Decoder at a school in Colombia thanks to a resourceful teacher, Maria del Rosario Silva.

Faculty Spotlight Maria del Rosario of Gimnasio Los Caobos

Maria del Rosario teaches Biology at Gimnasio Los Caobos and is Global Education Coordinator at the school in Bogotá, Colombia.

Innovative teacher Maria del Rosario Silva Hernandez has mobilized an unprecedented number of students and faculty to use News Decoder resources at partner Gimnasio Los Caobos (GLC), one of Colombia’s top secondary schools.

Under Silva Hernandez’s leadership as head of Global Education at the school in Bogotá, more than 150 high school students are taking News Decoder online courses to help them do research inside and outside of class.

Fifteen faculty are using News Decoder in classes as diverse as science, technology and languages.

The school’s project-based curriculum fits neatly with News Decoder’s cross-disciplinary approach to learning, and Silva – a Biology teacher – has involved growing numbers of students and faculty in our program.

For her efforts, Silva wins News Decoder’s faculty in the spotlight award.

 Maria del Rosario Silva expands students’ horizons.

“News Decoder is essential to enrich the skills of students,” said Silva, who has taught at GLC for 5-1/2 years and is studying for her PhD in Bioethics and Education. “It is a connection between the school and the world.”

One of News Decoder’s 22 partners in 17 countries, GLC is the only associate school in South America and one of two in the Southern Hemisphere, where our Paris-based nonprofit is keen to expand after 6-1/2 years of operations.

Under Silva’s direction, GLC offers a model for how a school can embed News Decoder in its efforts to expand students’ horizons.

Silva has successfully encouraged more than a dozen fellow faculty to use News Decoder’s four online courses – on writing, interviewing, podcasting and media literacy – in class.

Then, as part of GLC’s project-based curriculum, students apply skills learned from News Decoder’s E-Learning library as they conduct on-the-ground research and reporting outside of class.

Gimnasio Los Caobos in Colombia is a model partner.

Some teachers are using News Decoder stories to help students understand complicated issues. Students in one high school grade are reading News Decoder stories as they study global warming and the recent COP26 climate summit.

Some of those same students are also conducting research outside the school.

“Students are analyzing the environmental impact in an area where human activity has affected the environment,” Silva said, adding that students are interviewing inhabitants as they draw up proposed solutions to local problems.

GLC students are currently working with peers at Chadwick School in California on a webinar that will focus on human rights and migrants.

Asked how News Decoder helps students become better global citizens, Silva said the service encourages students to develop “positive leadership skills” for the common good and “achieve solutions for local and global problems.”


Nicole DiSante is News Decoder’s Program and Communications Intern. Originally from the U.S. state of Arizona, she moved to Paris in January 2020 to begin a master’s program in Global Communications at the American University of Paris. She has worked with youth in leadership programs in Brazil and Mexico. An advocate of experiential learning, she enjoys playing music and practicing dance.

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Faculty in the SpotlightFaculty Spotlight: Maria del Rosario of Gimnasio Los Caobos
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