The  numbers  clearly  reflect  the  educational  dilemma  in  Mexico:  40%  of  the  population  does  not   complete  a  basic  education,  and  of  the  31  million  students  currently  enrolled  in  required  education,   approximately  5,000  students  drop  out  of  school  every  day.  In  fact,  out  of  the  34  Organization  for   Economic  Cooperation  and  Development  (OECD)  member  states,  Mexico  recently  ranked  34th  when  it   came  to  education.  This  is  unacceptable. But  even  for  those  students  who  remain  in  school,  the  quality  of  their  education  is  a  major  concern.  The   government’s  financial  commitment  to  education  in  Mexico  is  low,  with  only  0.8%  of  the  GDP  going   towards  early  childhood  social  investments.  This  leads  to  overcrowded  classrooms  and  lack  of   textbooks,  underpaid  and  unequipped  teachers.

The  end  result  is  lower  quality  of  education,  and   learning  outcomes.  For  example,  only  40%  of  students  who  achieve  a  bachelor’s  degree  in  Mexico  have   a  level  of  reading  comprehension  that  allows  them  to  adequately  understand  and  retain  the  content   they  are  reading,  and  express  relevant  opinions  or  ideas.  The  link  between  these  poor  educational   outcomes  and  a  young-­?person’s  ability  to  secure  a  job,  and  thereby  break  the  cycle  of  poverty  is  clear.   Speaking  of  poverty  –  as  is  the  case  in  most  countries  -­  the  population  most  impacted  by  the  lack  of   investment  in  education  in  Mexico  are  those  already  struggling,  at  the  lower  economic  ranks  of  society.

These  families  struggle  to  not  only  attain  a  quality  education,  but  often  to  access  formal  education  in  the   first  place.  While  public  school is  technically  free,  there  are  financial  commitments  such  as  nominal  fees   for  certain  middle  and  high  schools,  required  materials  and  uniforms,  transportation  costs,  and  social   factors  such  as  special  needs  or  disabilities,  childcare  for  younger  or  elderly  family  members,  all  of  which   make  attending  school  a  costly  proposition.  Many  teachers  also  reference  factors  such  as  students  who   simply  don’t  have  enough  to  eat  to  give  them  the  nourishment  and  energy  needed  to  get  through  a  full   school  day,  students  who  have  fallen  into  gangs  or  drug  use,  and  students  who  suffer  abuse  at  home  or   are  traumatized  by  previous  experiences  in  an  educational  system  that  lacks  oversight  and  proper   administration.   Despite  these  conditions,  many  civil  society  organizations  and  influential  private  and  philanthropic   players  in  Mexico  are  committed  to  improving  access  and  quality  of  education  for  students  of  all  ages.   There  are  rays  of  hope  for  reform,  thanks  to  organizations  like  Enseña  Por  México,  who  are  stepping  up   to  change  the  education  system  from  the  inside.

Enseña  Por  México  –  A  Ray  of  Hope   Enseña  Por  México’s  mission  is  to  empower  young  adults  to  improve  educational  outcomes  in schools   and  become  socially-­conscious  leaders  in  their  future  careers.  As  of  2018,  they’ve  managed  to  reach   60,000  students  across Mexico  with  their  methodology  which  embeds  highly-­trained  teachers  into  low   performing  schools  across  8  different  states  of  Mexico.  Thanks  to  funding  from  the  International  Community  Foundation,  50  teachers  are  currently  wrapping   up  their  second  year  at  30  schools in  La  Paz,  right  here  in  Baja  California  Sur,  benefitting  over  7,500   students.  ICF  and  Enseña  Por  Mexico  are  currently  fundraising  to bring  the  program  to  schools  in  and   around  Los  Cabos!

As  a  member  of  Teach  For  All  —  a  global  network  that  strives  to  improve  access  to  quality  education  —   Enseña  Por  México  trains  and supports  leaders  in  the  education  system.  Like  its  prestigious  and  proven   U.S.  counterpart,  Teach  for  America,  the  goal  is  to  train  young leaders  who  commit  to  two  years  of   teaching  in  a  low  performing  school.  Unlike  the  typical  public  school  teacher,  Enseña  Por  México  teachers  use  a  one-­to-­one  methodology,  which  encourages  self-­learning  and  soft  skills  development,   bringing  about  a  holistic transformation  in  the  students  in  both  their  academic  and  social  lives.

The  young  leaders  that  Enseña  Por  México  selects  and  trains  are called  PEMs,  or  “Teaching  Professionals   for  Mexico”.  These  PEMs complete  a  rigorous  leadership  training  while  serving  two  years  as teachers  in   underserved  primary  and  secondary  schools,  and  leading community-­?driven  service  activities  alongside   their  students.  The methodology  emphasizes  spending  time  with  individual  students,  listening and   responding  to  their  needs,  and  real-­?world  application, instead  of  the  typical  memorization  and  lecturing.

Enseña  Por  México  and its  PEMs,  successful  students  are  those  who  not  only perform  well   academically,  but  those  who  also  engage  with  their  community,  improve study  habits  and  demonstrate   improvements  in  their behavior  and  personal  lives.  Ultimately,  Enseña  Por  México  strives  to  foster  a   transformation  that  is  personal,  social,  and  educational  for every  student  —  and  every  teacher!

How  You  Can  Help  Students  (and Teachers!)  in  Baja  California  Sur   Enseña  Por  México’s  committed teachers  can’t  transform  the educational system  without  the  support  of   generous  donors.  In  2018,  the  International  Community  Foundation and  our  donors  are  supporting   Enseña Por  México  in  La  Paz,  while also  working  to  expand  the  program  to  Los  Cabos  and  the  San Diego-Tijuana  border  region.

To  learn  more about  how  to  support  these efforts  directly  or  through  ICF  (a  U.S.   registered  nonprofit organization),  please  contact  Program officer,  Eliza Brennan:  eliza@icfdn.org  or US   Tel:  619-­336-­2250.     If  you  have  an  organization  or cause  that  you  care  about  and  need assistance  in  your international   charitable giving,  we  encourage  you  to  visit  www.icfdn.org.