“One of my experiences at the front of the Education Department is to know the reality of the communities in relation to education.”
Edgar Morales Choy, Director of
“Very often, rural communities are the most marginalized. Education is a distant reality. Only at the primary levels is it close to them. At the secondary and high school level, it is available only at a distance. Many have to leave their communities to continue their education. And this has resulted in the communities never developing educatively, which is also reflected in the parents’ having only a minimum education. They are able only to read and write, some may get to 3rd grade. Because education in rural areas has been abandoned and excluded, the work that we do in the Education department and as the organization Mayan Families is very important.”
“Actually, the population is experiencing a very complicated situation, and not just in education.
During these two years of the pandemic, education has taken a beating, primarily in the Indigenous population living in rural areas. The pandemic has stripped away the reality of education … public education is extremely limited in its ability to resolve these issues. Students are dropping out of school in the communities.
That’s why the Education Department is working with our 3 programs — Preschool Nutrition Center, Scholarship and Learning Communities — to combat this problem so that students can continue in their studies. As well as solve problems of access, such as access to technology, to the television.
Learning Communities, via tutorials, has been a great support to ensure that students can continue studying with a well-defined program.
At the preschool level, with little coverage from the government or from the communities, we believe that our Preschools are fundamental to educational development. We want to make sure that students start their journey of learning and never stop.
The pandemic has shown us which processes need to change. One big change has been decentralization of our operations. We are now closer to communities and understand their needs better.
Another big change is the system of conditional bank transfers. With the pandemic, it quickly came to our attention that our program participants lack many resources. They lack money to pay for internet, for television and other means necessary to resolve the problem of learning at a distance. But now, with the conditional transfers, parents have the means to resolve, on a daily basis, the educational needs of their children.
This has also strengthened the local economy of the community, which has been very affected by the pandemic.
Another important change is in the Learning Communities Program. We have invited our University students to develop as student tutors. In their community service hours, they help to tutor students having difficulties in preschool, primary and secondary school.
Another big change in the Preschool Program is to offer to parents Pedagogic Workshops developed to help them help their kids learn at home. We work hand-in-hand with the parents so that they too can develop educatively.
One of the most important impacts achieved has been in closing the drop-out rate. Through each and every one of our Programs, we help the community and the people to avoid this dropping out of school.
Another one is the reciprocity achieved through community service. University students serve as student tutors. By inserting them into our development processes, we have expanded our Preschool Program. We work with kids of ages 3, 4 and 5 to strengthen early education. A strong start is essential to ensure that they continue to develop at every stage.”