We discovered the Interna tional Benchmarks for Adult Literacy and saw their potential to pro voke debate and to promote policies and actions that will support sub stantial integrated literacy processes. In this perwonal we give an outline of the situation in Mexico in relation to the Adult Literacy Benchmarks, examining context, statistics and activities. Finally, we examine some of the key acult faced in Mexico and offer some thoughts for the future. Mexico: Analysing the International Adult Literacy Benchmarks in Our Context Literacy Context in Mexico In Mexico, literacy remains a big challenge, although illiteracy rates have fallen steadily over the past seventy years.
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Editorial Limusa, Literacy in particular has not ,exico a priority over the past 12 years; it does not figure in the public policy agenda and was not included in the last two government programmes. For this reason the benchmarks are important.
Final Considerations Literacy is key to any advance in people's empowerment and in the social, economic and political development of communities. Decisions were also taken to establish technical support teams in each of the local offices, incorporating three new subjects: planning, training and monitoring, and to strengthen, through training and awareness raising workshops, the existing areas of assessment and IT.
This requires a rethink of the idea of the volunteer as pillar of adult education; whilst recognising the importance of solidarity, history has demonstrated that good will is not enough. If we discount the cost of the Plazas Comunitariasthen this suggests that the annual cost per learner proposed in the benchmarks is accurate. It would be interesting to research good practice in prsonal contexts in order to construct specific benchmarks on this issue and to promote an evaluation of the real situation of adult illiteracy at an international level from a multilingual perspective.
Partly thanks to these structures and to the use of vol unteer educators, it is able to attend to over 3 million adults per year in literacy pdrsonal in primary mfxico secondary education.
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Currently a team of specialised trainers is being set up and trained in each of the states in order to prevent a distortion of the training as it cascades down to the educators. We must reduce the distance between the aims and reality of programmes, using materials appropriate to the context and carrying out evaluations and other relevant activities in order to solve the problems that are identified en route, as in the case of Oaxaca. In addi tion, two national congresses of educators have been held, as well as a of state congresses and meetings, in order to exchange experi ences and provide training as well as giving recognition to the educators.
Inparticipation in the Diploma on Pegsonal Culture organised by CREFAL was incorporated into this programme, as was the seminar "Towards an Integrated Vision of Literacy", organised by the National Pedagogical University for local coordinators and managers, which included a discussion and analysis of the International Benchmarks on Adult Literacy. For Spanish-speakers there are three modules in this original level; 5 for monolingual speakers of an indigenous language, 6 five modules are currently being developed.
This work is reinforced by the, still limited, production of bilingual publications. Although they use their mother tongue to think, name and understand the world, they rarely express any desire or intention to become literate in it, because they feel that this language has no wider use.
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Mexico: Analysing the International Adult Literacy Benchmarks in Our Context Literacy Context in Mexico In Mexico, literacy remains a big challenge, although illiteracy rates have fallen steadily over the past seventy years. The first is linked to a decisive move by government to guarantee universal primary education for all children, particularly since From the Mexican perspective, the continued existence of almost six mil lion illiterate people, all of whom have a right to education, represents a great challenge.
The length of initial learning for those who are monolingual in an indigenous language averages 24 months, so it is close to the mini mum length of time suggested by the benchmarks. They identify processes, actors and resources and they propose clear aims, which take into citizenship, well being, written culture and literate environments.
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These are rather arbitrary divisions developed in order to give learn ers gradual satisfaction in their achievements through independent assessment processes. An agree ment mexcio also reached with many educational institutions to provide more adequate spaces for learning.
INALI, and All this requires an increase in the financial resources available for this mexlco. The contents and methods vary according to the context. Multilingual Contexts Benchmark 8 This point is particularly relevant for Mexico.
This included the writing, printing and distribution of materials, training, educator pay, assessment and pedsonal tification, spending on technology, including the Plazas Comunitarias educational facilities that include technical resources such as comput ers with internet access, television and videoand even the costs of cleaning and security. The of the Maya language programme in the Yucatan adultt are still not clear but there is growing learner interest and the programme is progressing cautiously.
Mexico and the Adult Literacy Benchmarks A of clear lessons have been learnt from the many diverse literacy experiences in Mexico, as was seen in the case of Oaxaca.
Over the past three years, additional funds have been made available for training educators, particularly new ones. In order to promote an effective literacy process, the INEA has been developing the Education for Life and Work Model MEVyTa basic education xdult for adults and young people, which has an initial education level that offers more than the traditional literacy processes.
Unemployment levels in Mexico may adult be a factor, of course. However, as over the past 12 years two presidential terms the INEA has not promoted the idea of quick-fix literacy or of a specific method, this has generated a vacuum in the public discourse on literacy, encouraging the appearance of a lucra tive market in methods that focus on low cost and personal. Recognising the need to find solutions that are relevant mexico the par ticular circumstances and cultures, the INEA worked with nexico IEEA in the states with ificant indigenous populations and with NGOs and members of the indigenous communities to de methodolo gies and materials for a bilingual literacy process which combines literacy in the mother tongue, Spanish as a second language and the possibility of studying the whole of basic education in mexicco bilingual programme.
A of initiatives have been introduced to respond to this situa tion. It is also impor tant to reinforce the link between literacy programmes, the interests and needs of adults and young people, the contexts in which they develop and other social programmes promoted by governments.
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One example of this is the development of the Bilingual Indigenous MEVyT MIBintended to provide an appropriate approach and service for the monolingual and bilingual indigenous communities. The Role of Government Benchmarks 3, 4 and 10 In Mexico there has been a constant decrease in illiteracy rates, and there are two mexico reasons for this. These experiences often link literacy to one or more of the following: women's empowerment, savings groups, learning of trades, strengthening of community culture and history, support for school-age children, attention to social and family problems, adult government, ethno-tourism and animal health, amongst others.
To what degree does illiteracy persist because the question of linguistic diversity is simply not considered? We believe that the benchmarks have brought together key learning from government and non-government experiences and that they will help create a conducive environment for improved decision-making, resource allocation, literacy processes and.
To achieve this, it is essential to provide educators with professional development opportunities, including training, support for their work and improved remuneration, as personal as the processes are needed.