Medición Independiente de Aprendizajes (MIA), a PAL Network member organisation in Mexico, recently achieved a historic Milestone. It has been included in the School Technical Council discussions as an effective educational innovation to recover and accelerate learning in schools. School Technical Councils are chartered organisations in charge of students’ academic performance. They also identify the challenges schools face in achieving these academic goals.
In Mexico, Basic Education is divided into three levels: primary school (for children aged six to twelve), junior high school (for children aged twelve to fifteen) and high school (for children aged 15 to 18). Attendance is compulsory at all three levels of education. Inasmuch as public schools are free in Mexico, they are underfunded and under-resourced. This is especially true in rural areas, with urban areas performing only marginally better. These disadvantages have a negative impact on children’s learning outcomes in the country.
MIA began its Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL)-inspired learning camps model in 2018 to help improve learning outcomes among children in identified schools. Children are grouped by the level of learning achieved and work on activities according to their level. Children and adolescents advance at their own pace, learn in a playful way and develop basic reading and maths skills. So far, MIA has reached over 11,000 children in both its in-school and summer programmes.
Therefore, the inclusion of MIA in the discussions of the School Technical Councils means that its accelerated learning camps will be known by over 700,000 teachers in more than 232,000 schools across Mexico. This will be critical in improving learning outcomes across the country. Every primary and secondary school will be trained on how to conduct and implement MIA learning camps. Furthermore, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been developed to train hundreds of thousands of people across Latin America, not just in Mexico.
“Without the support and belief of ASER Centre, Pratham and the PAL Network, we would not have been able to make such a significant contribution to the change in educational policies in Mexico. It’s still difficult for us to believe that what started with a few small pilots in Xalapa is now part of Mexico’s federal public educational policy.”
MIA is an action-research project that works with the Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology, Gulf unit (CIESAS-Gulf) and the Institute for Research in Education of the Veracruzana University (IIE-UV). MIA conducts independent research to determine whether children and adolescents in Mexico have attained the minimum level of learning proficiency to establish if they can read and do basic maths.
The organisation uses the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) methodology developed in India over 12 years ago and has been replicated in several countries in Asia and Africa. Through MIA, Mexico is the first country in Latin America to adopt this methodology.
We are thrilled about this achievement and celebrate with MIA in the spirit of their motto, “Because education belongs to everyone, the responsibility is MIA (mine).”