Mexican government representatives have launched a literacy drive that aims to quadruple the number of adult migrants participating in a Mexican-developed basic education program in the United States.
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The campaign unveiled Friday seeks a four-fold increase in the number of learners incorporated into basic literacy, elementary and middle-school education programs and a two-fold rise in the certification of those programs, according to sources with the Mexican Consulate-General in Los Angeles.
Officials with Mexico’s Public Education Secretariat and National Institute for Adult Education, or INEA, launched the enrollment, accreditation and certification drive in that California city and will later extend it to other parts of the country.
A total of 69 community learning centers, known as “plazas comunitarias,” are in operation in Los Angeles attending to more than 9,000 students, the INEA’s Susana Magaña said.
To meet the established targets, more learning centers will be opened in areas with the largest concentration of Mexican migrants. Currently, a total of 479 centers are in operation in 40 U.S. states.
Among Mexicans living in the United States, 1 million are illiterate and nearly 4 million have not completed their basic education requirements, according to INEA estimates.
The initiative is backed by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat and is implemented through Mexico’s consulates in the United States, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and Mexican migrant associations and organizations in the United States.
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As part of this program, organizers are carrying out an intensive enrollment drive this weekend in California. Participants only need to present their birth certificate, fill out a registration form and undergo a test to assess their abilities in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics.
Based on the results of the test, Mexicans older than 15 will enter one of three study groups: a basic literacy and math group, a higher-level group with more advanced reading, writing and math instruction, or a third group that provides instruction on the level of a U.S. middle school.