NGO Profile: Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education

DOCTOR OF EDUCATION PROGRAM Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems – Ed 855.716: Spring 2014
Name of Organization URL Contact Information Focus Location
Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey http://mexicorural.mty.itesm.mx/ Skype: hugo.gutierrez.ahumada Victor González vjgonzalez@itesm.mx Access Monterrey, Mexico Mexico Rural and Mexico Urbano (Rural Mexico and Urban Mexico) are two service -learning programs that are part of the Citizenship Studies Area at the Department of International Relations and Political Science at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey Campus. (In Mexico, college students have to comply with 480 hours of community service activities, these programs are just two of the many choices our students have to get those hours). Students who take part in the program participate with children who go to inner city and rural public schools for seven (in the case of Mexico Rural) and nine (in the case of Mexico Urbano) Saturdays every semester. Mexico is country of strong contrasts and very complex social issues. On the one hand it is home to the richest man in the world (Forbes, 2012) on the other, 46% of its citizens live in poverty. The national average minimum wage is 62 pesos a day (around 4.75 dlls). In order to give some perspective about what that means, a study done by Mexico City´s Council on social Development has found that it costs a four person household about 170 pesos (13 dlls) a day to meet their minimum nutritional requirements. http://mexicourbano.mty.itesm.mx/

Hugo Gutierrez Ahumada hgutierrez@itesm.mx

Program

Context

Monterrey, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon, is the third largest and second richest city in the country, a micro-cosmos of the large inequalities that still persist in a country that is the 12th largest economy in the world. Tecnológico de Monterrey is a private university system with campuses all over the country, where a large part of the national economic elite send their children for their degrees although we have a large portion of students with scholarships and/or financial aid. Both programs share the same objectives – to reinforce basic math, language and human development skills in elementary school children. The only thing that changes is the geographical context.

Mexico has established education from first through ninth as basic, and has the mandate to make it available to the population. Thus, 90.7 % of students in those grades attend public schools and 9.3 go to private schools (SEP, 2008). The national schooling average is 8.6 for population 15 y.o. or older. It is worth mentioning that this varies by gender, females average 8.4. It isn´t just a matter of quantity; quality is a very pressing issue. 79.1% of students who took part in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD where in levels of insufficiency , 1 and 2. 15.6 % in level 3 and 5.4 % in levels 4 and 5 OCDE (2010). PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do. Vol. I, p. 221. This assessment, which is taken by secondary level students, shows the consequences of having very poor quality education at the basic levels, which leads to high dropout rates in grades 7-9. We would like to contribute in the rebuilding of the social fabric through our support of education. Mexico Rural: The program was cofounded by Dr. Nora Guzman and Hugo Gutierrez fifteen years ago, with the same objective as now, the great difference is that back then, our college students stayed overnight on Saturday so that they could work six entire weekends with the children. Because of the intensified climate of insecurity that prevailed from 2009-2011 in the state, the decision was made to stop staying overnight and rather go for seven Saturdays each semester. This decision, although it gave us an apparent reduction in the quantity of hours spent with the children, the fact that the same student could work with the same child for the duration of the program (before, each student work for three weekends, because of the amount of hours we were allowed to credit the participants). Mexico Rural works in the southern part of the state, which is known as the “citrus region” because their main source of income is the production, sale and distribution of citric fruits, mainly oranges and grapefruits. Mexico Urbano: Derived from Mexico Rural, Mexico Urbano started in 2008 with the same objectives, applied to the urban context. Besides the context, the other main difference is the frequency of interventions, which is nine Saturdays of each semester. Our specific objectives are:     Improvement of math, language, reading, and writing skills Appreciation of the importance of schooling beyond 6th grade. Appreciation for the importance of learning. Confidence and resilience in children to stay in school and thrive Improvement of grades as a byproduct of the learning process

Challenge

1. Current state of gender inequality in the communities we work with. How do we discover (or approach the discovery of) different manifestations of gender inequality found in both rural and urban communities? What are the attitudes, behaviors of gender aggression that boys and girls are willing to tolerate and which are they not? Is there a correlation between the manifestations of gender inequality and patriarchal-based behavior and girls’ missed school days and/or dropout rates? 2. Mexico Rural and Mexico Urbano programs’ unconscious contributions to the perpetuation of these behaviors What sort of verbal and non-verbal manifestations with, or around, the children by any member of the program may contribute to the perpetuation of negative attitudes and behaviors regarding gender inequality? What are the notions about gender inequality that our students display before the children? 3. Educational intention that our programs may have about the gender dimension. How can we measure the impact of education on girls? What means may we employ to measure the impact that girls’ education may have in the community? How can we measure the impact on education on the lives of the girls themselves? What is the best way to approach the subject within the community? How might we integrate this dimension into our own activities with the communities?

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