Luis Miguel Bermudez Gutierrez teaches at Colegio Gerardo Paredes IED, Colombia
In 2010, Luis went to teach at the Gerardo Paredes School. The school is in one of the poorest areas of the city, rife with gun violence, poverty and sexual abuse. The neighbourhood and family environment there presented a series of problems related to early pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He was struck from the beginning by the large number of teenage pregnancies and the constant bullying of students who did not fit the culturally accepted models of masculinity and femininity.
Faced with this scenario, he decided to dedicate himself to solving this problem. He met the challenge on three levels: education for sexuality, the exercise of sexual and reproductive human rights in adolescents and young people; and the curriculum itself.
In 2014, he began to change the school curriculum. He integrated the teaching of sexual citizenship and a new approach to diversity. The objectives of this curriculum proposal were fivefold. To generate innovative processes in the field of education for sexuality, including the interests and needs of the students. To generate teaching approaches relevant to students’ lives. To strengthen and exercise human, sexual and reproductive rights. To confront and reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy. And to foster a diverse school environment that celebrates diversity in general, but especially sexual and gender differences. In that year, the school recorded 70 teenage pregnancies. By the third quarter of 2017, the figure fell to zero.
For his work, Luis was recognised as Best Teacher of Colombia in 2017.
The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award for an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.