Henry George ...
Class in Economía Política Graduates
Managua, July 18, 2000 -- The Instituto Henry George's first intensive "Comprender la Economía" Political Economy class graduated yesterday from the first formal course on Political Economy given in Nicaragua by the Instituto Henry George since its founding in April, of this year. The results of the course are considered an indication of a great interest on the part of the Nicaraguan population to understand the underlying cause of their unending economic "crisis" as well as a strong indication the capacity of the average Nicaraguan to comprehend and appreciate the georgist economic analysis and remedy.
Over 200 people, mostly university students, but also university graduates, highschool students, and professionals, responded to a classified advertisement in the main Managua newspaper to come to the IHG office and obtain the class application for participation in a free "Comprender la Economía" course which would explain the economic solution to Nicaragua'a socio-economic problems. The advertisement and course description indicated the possibility that graduates would be eligible for one of two paid temporary volunteer positions with the Instituto and for an invitation to an advance teacher training course.
The requirement for application included a 12 question test on political economy. 72 applicants returned the application before the deadline. (Another 20 filled in their applications at the UPONIC, a local state-run university but the administration decided to keep the applications with the expectation that the IHG will give the next course at their university.) The higher qualifying applicants were invited to register for the two week, (six nights, 18 hours) intensive course and then the other lower qualifying group as well, until the class limit of 50 was registered. Registration required the purchase of the two class texts (Progreso y Miseria abreviated version and the "Comprender la Economía" study guide which uses materials found on the Henry George Institute website) at the price of the Institute's cost of reproduction, thus requiring a commitment on the part of the students.
The course took place from June 12 to 23 near the Instituto office at a local church with the Director of the IHG, Paul Martin as the professor of the course. The requirements for participation were full and punctual class participation as well as the studying of the texts. If a student arrived late or left early, their participation in the course was terminated. Of the 51 students who started the course, 24 finished. The quantity and quality of the work received from the students was unexpected and impressive. Each class had homework due the next class which has as many as 35 questions based upon the text being studied. A final paper summarizing the georgist argument was due at the end the week after the last class. 24 of the finishers handed in their final paper on time. Of the 24 finishers, 6 qualified with a grade of 80% or more at a level of "Superior Competence in Political Economy", 8 qualified with 70% to 79% at "Intermediate Competence", and another 8 qualified with 60-69% at "Basic Competence".
The Instituto sponsored a graduation event at a local restaurant where the certificates of "Competence in Political Economy" were awarded. The event was well attended and many students brought a family member of friend to the event. Students applauded each other in the act of receiving their certificates. The Director of the IHG addressed the group congratulating them on their accomplishment and inviting them to participate in subsequent classes to obtain the higher certification levels. The Instituto handed out and received back an evaluation form filled out by each student inquiring about their experience in the course and about their interest in participating in subsequent volunteer activities of the Instituto. Many students indicated their disposition to participate as IHG vounteers.
This first "Comprender la Economía" course was a landmark for the IHG and Nicaragua. The IHG learned a great deal about the possibilities and cultural issues in delivering the course and will be better able to integrate its educations strategy with that information. The likelyhood of the employment of the IHG's first trained Nicaraguan volunteers promises to allow the IHG to move forward in its various educational and advocacy projects.
"Work with passion,
have fun, save the world!"
"Trabajar con pasión, divertirse, salvar el mundo!"
Return to main News-Noticias Page
since July 18, 2000