27 Jan Teaching in Mexico
Using Online Classes to Impact Disenfranchised Youth through Education
Prepanet is an online social high school designed by the Tecnológico de Monterrey, for people with limited economic resources who cannot complete their studies in a traditional education scheme. It is a flexible system for students because they do not need to attend a classroom and can study from a computer at any time.
I spent a year as a Chemistry tutor and a Chemistry coordinator at Prepanet. The educational model of Prepanet is based on the skills of its tutors in order to assist in the learning of the students. These competences serve to apply knowledge as a tool in solving problems and improving quality of life.
The goal of Prepanet is to enable its students to have better and higher paid jobs so that they can contribute to the economic progress of their community. Currently 80% of Prepanet students finish their studies and Prepanet executives have observed that the tutor is a key element in preventing students from dropping out. Therefore, the tutors are trained through workshops and have an assigned coordinator.
Prepanet has impacted more than 170 graduates and each of them has changed their environment in one way or another. Thanks to Prepanet those graduates were given the opportunity to complete high school education, and to aspire to better jobs and higher salaries. Some have started their own businesses or work for NGOs, which has impacted not only their lives but those of their communities. So far, 170 graduates and 170 communities throughout Mexico have been changed through the same engine: education.
Being a tutor is more than helping to understand concepts and get knowledge. It is also encouraging the students to use what they have learnt in order to change their environment for the common good. It is through the tutor that Prepanet students not only learn new concepts in various areas, but also learn to put them into practice. Thanks to good communication, assessments and feedback, the tutor helps the students develop their skills in order to fulfil their dreams. The tutor is key in helping the students recognise that hard work is necessary to get the knowledge needed to end ignorance in the community. In addition, the tutor teaches the importance of knowledge for the improvement of the economic conditions and quality of life of the community.
What I found extremely rewarding in this job was the fact that I was bringing knowledge and teaching skills to people who were eager to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. I was part of a process which helps people bring the best out of themselves, make their dreams come true and in so doing bring knowledge and change to their communities. I was a moral leader, with responsibilities, but also with great satisfaction after a job well done.
Sofía is a recent graduate in Electronic and Computer Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, and currently is currently an intern at Oracle. She was also the 2013 delegate to the Girls20 Summit in Russia.