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The challenge is to avoid desertion; high school kids are most at risk

Los Fortines, Nayarit, is one of the 22 thousand marginalized communities in the country that are served by leaders for community education, who bring education to its inhabitants. Photo: Special


The CEO of National Council for Educational Promotion (Conafe), Cuauhtémoc Sánchez Osio, admitted that one of the main challenges he is facing, after returning to classes at the most marginalized communities of the country to which educational services are taken, is to prevent students from dropping out of school.

Undoubtedly, the economic difficulties produced by the pandemic generate incentives for some parents to prefer that their children help them at home, in agricultural activities, or make it difficult to move to schools, “he said.

During an interview with Excelsior, noted that secondary school children face the highest risk of no longer return to classrooms for having to go to work, because of the economic situation in their homes.

In secondary school the problem is a little more serious because, as they are able to work and due to the pandemic, unexpected economic demands are emerging, it is where we will have to pay more attention because, in effect, the risk is greater ”, he explained.

Because of the pandemic, Conafe provides distance education, from house to house; the classrooms have been set aside. Photo: Special

In this context, he explained that one of the main missions of Conafe community education leaders at this time is to ensure that school-age children keep learning, for now, from their homes.

We are going to take care that there is no school dropout by children, before this happens because it is always easier to prevent dropout than to reverse it; What the educational figures of Conafe are doing is that, when they arrive in a community, they knock door to door, it is important to say it, it is not about summoning the children to the classroom, that will happen until we are at a

This work that is being done house to house is what will allow us to avoid a school dropout that naturally has the potential or would have the potential to grow in the face of the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. Our concern
and what we have to avoid is that this becomes a structural issue and that is why the instruction has been given that we go house to house to avoid it, “he added.

In addition, community education leaders are trying to convince those children who, even before the pandemic, were not participating in school, to join it.

Educational figures are also trying to convince parents so that these boys and girls join the study, to give them a chance at life ”, he commented.

It will be next week when there is a cut of the enrollment progress in the 22 thousand communities served by Conafe.

The most marginalized communities, those on the last mile, are the ones where the information generally reaches the last mile and they are the ones that, in fact, have a higher risk of dropping out of school, ”he said.

Even in this scenario, the general director of Conafe described the return to classes in the communities served by the institution as very successful.

In the first two days of the school year, that is, between Monday and Tuesday, August 24 and 25, we cover about 98% or of the 22 thousand communities. There were some that could not be attended from the first two days, or because the community itself preferred that no one should enter yet, and there were two situations of very intense rains in Chiapas and Baja California Sur, just the days before and during the start that prevented them from arriving. until the last communities ”, he reported.

Finally, he recognized that bringing educational services to areas of high and very high marginalization was in itself a challenge that was enhanced by the pandemic.

Let’s think about 700 thousand boys and girls between special and basic education who are more or less twice the number of students at UNAM and spread them throughout the country, in the most remote corners, in the highest mountains, in the most inaccessible lake areas. And there we dispersed those 700,000 and then into tiny communities of 2,500 inhabitants and now we are going to get them volunteer teachers to go to these corners to care for all these children; now we have to train them, because they are not yet graduated teachers, they are the largest educational volunteer in the world, that is what is done under normal conditions and has been doing for decades ”, he explained.

Now the challenge of taking them in this pandemic, of taking these educational figures in this pandemic, grows substantially because now the recruitment has to be done completely remotely and training them online is a greater challenge ”, he concluded.