Implementing institution: Frente Popular Tierra y Libertad
Execution period: 1990 - in progress
Plataforma de Prácticas Efectivas:
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To guarantee a quality educational process that ensures the full development of children's biophysical, social and emotional potential and qualities.
A network of 14 public schools offering a comprehensive early childhood pedagogy.
The model reinforces the personality and character of the students, as well as their social-emotional and technical development.
Infant Development Centers of Frente Popular Tierra y Libertad (CENDI), is a network of public educational centers that offer a comprehensive pedagogy for early childhood. The first centers were founded in 1990 on the initiative of Frente Popular “Tierra y Libertad” to respond to the demand of the marginalized population of the urban area of Monterrey. In 1994, these centers were incorporated into the Secretariat of Public Education until 2010, which by administrative agreement, joins the state public education scheme.
Various state agencies are still involved in the operation of the centers, including the Mexican Institute of Social Security, the Ministry of Health and the municipality of Monterrey. The CENDI educational model is based on the involvement of families in the learning process. Children are encouraged to interact with their families to co-construct their knowledge. In this regard, the visits that students must make to their grandparents for 3 hours per week are highlighted. During these visits, they discuss “family history” with them and, after each session, students should tell and comment on their story.
There is also a strong effort to accommodate the space because the starting point of the CENDI is based on how the organization of the infrastructures and their general aspect, influence human behaviour. Learning takes place in two supplementary components: (i) traditional courses in mathematics and reading; (ii) activities in sport, arts, music, computer skills and yoga. “Extra-curricular” activities are added to these, which include a program of education for parents in health, personal development and therapy; a program called “learning together,” which involves both children and their parents under the supervision of psychologists, nutritionists, and social workers; a prenatal monitoring program (nutrition, health, childbirth training); and a nutrition program for children under 6 years of age.
In Mexico, children under 6 years of age represent about 10% of the population. Although social levels have risen since 1990, the child population still suffers from many shortcomings: 28% do not have enough family income to cover their basic needs and 62% were living in patrimonial poverty (Census, 2010). Only 38% of newborns were breastfed for the first hour of life and only 14% received exclusive breast milk for the first 6 months, the lowest rate in all of Latin America. These figures have a strong impact on children’s schooling, considering, for example, that net participation at the pre-primary level has fallen by 14 percentage points between 2014 and 2015.
In 2011, Instituto de Evaluación Educativa de Nueva León independently evaluated the functioning of CENDI n.4 “Genaro Vásquez”. The research included a round of in-depth interviews with parents, teachers and the general director, as well as direct observation, focus groups with parents and students. A qualitative analysis of the results has shown a positive effect of the model on the pro-social behaviour of children, who have increased their ability to collaborate and participate in activities. Additional components, such as the inclusion of families and health and nutrition programs, make it possible to sustain the above-mentioned progress. For this reason, both teachers and parents recognize that the program contributes to solving the personality problems that young people face during their adolescence.