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Educators work to keep kids in school

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

The municipality of San Miguel has been ranked in the state as having the eighth- highest retention of students in secondary school and the 11th-highest rate of student retention in primary school. Pedro Uriel Rodríguez, a representative of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEEG) for the northern region of the state of Guanajuato, reported that in San Miguel there are 408 schools, 1,640 teachers and 42,748 students enrolled in kindergarten and primary and secondary schools.

These statistics, according to Rodríguez, come from programs implemented in Dolores Hidalgo, San Diego de la Unión, Ocampo, San Felipe and San Miguel de Allende. Educators have been working with parents to increase their involvement in the schools. Also, motivational and leadership workshops are offered to them free of charge, as well as meetings on several other topics to instill in them a new culture of active participation in and out of schools to benefit their sons and daughters.

Through the program Quédate en la Escuela (Stay in School) the educational system has offered support to 236 students at risk of leaving school. “In this model,” said Rodríguez, “we are giving uniforms, tennis shoes, book bags, school supplies and other supplies to students. We decided to launch this program because sometimes students do not want to go to school because they do not have shoes or notebooks.” Principals of the schools prepare lists of students at risk of desertion, which are handed over to the authorities of the SEEG. They talk with the students and their parents and offer them support to help keep them in school.

Rodríguez also said that currently they are working on training courses for teachers in public and private schools so they can learn how to control students without bullying them, one reason some students say they leave school. He said that teachers need to learn to be more productive when students tend to play during class and give them the capacity to solve problems in the classroom.

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