What is needed to improve education in unfavorable situations in Mexico
I’m the founder of the “Lead” project, which seeks to encourage children from unfavorable public schools and girls from orphanages to continue their education, building a network of volunteers as a support team (teaching children to read) at Vicente Guerrero Elementary, and sponsoring books that the Ortigosa Orphanage girls have written in a list but they can not afford to buy them on their own.
In one of the missions to rural ejidos that I have been to, I spoke with a girl who told me that after sixth grade she stopped attending school.
-And why? .- I asked.
-Well no, I did not want to study. — He answered sincerely.
I have asked myself what it is that makes children and young people in these contexts tend to be discouraged in expanding their education. Is it really because of low resources? Bad Material? Or lack of quorum? A UNICEF study showed that children in poorer situations are four times more likely to miss school than children in difficult situations. This is why this article will discuss four recommendations to grow in education in unfavorable situations.
When I was talking with teacher Miriam Gaeh from Ortigosa Orphanage, where they pick up low-income girls or in violent situations (such as rapes), she explained that one of the limitations of not being able to provide quality education is that this girls are so focused on their own problems that doesn’t allows them to put their attention in class and get the most out of their education. It is often thought that to improve the quality of teaching we must focus on the infrastructure of the school, which, although is fundamental, we often overlook the importance of a healthy mind to learn. The teacher recommended me that, from experience, it is necessary first to give them affection and love so that they can have hope free of difficulties, and then try to teach them.
The second recommendation has to do with the role that parents contribute to the education of their children. Some time ago we realized that one of the children with whom we worked to learn to read, did not distinguish the letters we taught him even when they were in front of him. And talking with his teacher, he told us that evidently had time with these problems in his eyes, and that even though the teacher has already told his mother about the situation that prevents the child from learning, she hasn’t bought him some glasses. “I do not understand how they don’t pay attention to him,” the teacher told us. That is why it is necessary for parents, or guardians, to be attentive to the needs that their children occupy in order to learn.
This brings me to the third point: the indispensable role that the school principal, teachers, and parents contribute to improve the school. A missionary who traveled to ejidos where they do not have drinking water, told me that despite the situation they were in, the families of the community met every Tuesday to clean the little school and were aware of the teacher’s daily instructions. The school with which Lead, our organization, works “Vicente Guerrero” is in a more developed area than the ejidos, the school is bigger, and nevertheless, the participation of the work staff and parents to improve the school facilities is almost nil. Motivation is required by principals, teachers, and parents to improve classes and facilities where students could grow.
Finally, a factor that all the people with whom I have worked in this cause coincide is to motivate students to have dreams and hopes with which they can aspire to strive to give more of themselves.
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