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StephanieKreuter Spring2013 DPMIPlusDeliverable1:ProblemTree BackgroundontheMexicaneducationalsystem Mexico has championed free and compulsory basic (grades 19) education.

. Currently, morethan30millionchildrenareenrolledinpublicschool,butonly62%continuetosecondary schoolandonly25%ofthosestudentsfinishhighereducationoruniversity.Accordingtothe Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 40% of Mexicos future workforce (aged 2534) has earned a high school degree, while the OECD country average is 80%. Although the previous statistics seem dim, primary school graduation up from 33% in 2000to42%in2005,hintingattheimprovementoftheMexicanpublicschoolsystem(OECD, 2013). Furthermore, both past President Felipe Caldern and current President Enrique Pea Nietohavechampionededucationinbothpolicyandpractice.Forexample,Caldernlaunched theAllianceforEducationalQualityseekingtopromoteteachersbasedontestslawsorpolicy to increase teacher training and provide free education (Testing the teachers, 2008). PresidentPeaNietohasrecentlysignedaneducationreformpolicytoquellthepowerofthe teachers union and promote teachers based on merit as opposed to bribes and seniority (MexicosPeaNietoenactsmajoreducationreform,2013). Mexicobeganavocationaleducationandtraining(VET)programtoassiststudentswho might not want a full university education, but still gain essential skills relevant to the workforce. Currently, there are three VET offerings: training for work a three to six month program that includes 50% theory and 50% practice; technical professional baccalaureate throughtheNationalSchoolforProfessionalTechnicalEducation(SpanishacronymCONALEP) that requires 35% general subjects and 65% vocational subjects as well as over 300 hours of training; and technological baccalaureate which includes 60% general subjects and 40% vocation subjects. According to the OECD, training for work and technical professional enrollmenthasincreasedsince2000(Kisetal.,2009). BackgroundonProjectConcernInternationalsresearchinyouthworkforcedevelopmentin Mexico(Process) Project Concern International (PCI) began in Mexico in 1961 and since that time continuedtoworkwiththegovernment,localNGOpartnersandlocalcommunitiesintheareas of health, economic development and capacity building. Anticipating an USAID request for proposalrelatedtovocationaltraininginMexico,PCIbeganresearchingthepastandcurrent situation of youth and their entrance into the workforce, specifically through vocational and educational training. Some of the findings are detailed both in the problem tree and the followingbackgroundreport.

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Explanationofproblemtree(AppendixA) Oneoftherootcausesofthehighpercentageofyouth(age15to24)notemployed,in education or training (NEET) is government corruption. In the recent past, Mexico has been fighting two wars at home, against their own politicians and against drug or narcotraffickers. TheseissueshavebeenwidespreadandwellknownwithinMexicoformanyyears,butwiththe increase in world connectivity, knowledge about the corruption and trafficking has become more publicized. Corruption in the government has resulted in a fragile Mexican state, which further extends to public programming, including public education. In February of 2013, the Mexicangovernment,inanefforttoreformtheeducationsystemfromthetopdown,arrested ElbaEstherGordillo,headoftheteachersunionfor23years,chargedwithembezzlingroughly $160million(Ringlet,2013).Ms.Gordillo,whowasinchargeofhiringandfiringpublicschool teachers,previouslypromotedteachersbasedonbribesorpassingdownateachingposition. Furthermore, in the last union election she was the only candidate and did not receive any dissentingvotes(Castillo,2013).Thiscorruptionhasleadbothtoaninadequatepublicschool systemandalimitedinvestmentinVET,asnotedbyMexicohavingthelowestpercentageof youth with the equivalent of a high school diploma (among OECD countries). In addition, students average PISA score ranks them second to last, being followed only by Brazil (OECD, 2013). In regards to investment in VET, Mexico has standards and curriculum required for a technicaldiploma,butthestandardshavenotbeenupdatedformanyyears.Asstatedearlier, teacherswerepromotedthroughbribingeducationofficialsorinheritingabetterposition,not through requiring additional education. This has caused low quality of current VET opportunities. This leads to a disconnect between VET offerings and the skills needed to join theworkforce.Additionally,employershavenotbeenconsultedincreatingrequirementsfora technical diploma, thus leading to the low quality of VET opportunities both employers and students do not see as valuable to the current workforce environment (VET Challenges and Recommendations,2009).IfstudentsdoparticipateinVET,theyareunsatisfactorilyprepared to enter the workforce, leaving them unemployed. Also, because VET does not provide the necessaryskills,studentsareunmotivatedtoseekoutadditionalordifferentopportunitiesto enhance their chances at a job, again, leaving them unemployed and not attending an educationalprogram. ThesecondrootcauseofNEETyouthinMexicoistheweakMexicaneconomy.Similar to other countries, Mexico experienced an economic slow down with the stagnation of the world economy. Beginning in 2008, Mexico suffered an increase in unemployment and a decreaseinGDPgrowth.Youthwerehitharderwithanunemploymentrateof9.5%continuing through 2010. (World Bank Data Bank, Mexico, 2013). The weak Mexican economy caused youth to not continuing their education because of the limited affordability of tertiary educationalopportunities.Italsoledtothefurthereconomicmarginalizationofyouthbecause

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oftheyareunabletoattendschoolandtheyhavelittlesupportnetwork.Becausetheformal economy did not (and still isnt) accept youth, they are seeking alternatives, such as entering the informal, lucrative economy by joining drug cartels. Sometimes, youth are forced to join cartels through blackmail or family ties, but in other instances, youth choose to join cartels becauseofthepotentialtomakemoney.Formally,thiswouldclassifythemasnotbeingpartof the labor force and not being enrolled in public education. Additionally, due to the weak economy,citizenshavelessmoneytoinvestineducation.Thisnotonlyaffectsuniversities,but alsotechnicalschoolsbecausetechnicalschooldiplomasarenotseenasfavorablyasuniversity diplomas.ThismeansthatVETopportunitiesreceivelessgovernmentandtuitionfunding.Since VETdiplomasarenotaswidelyacceptedastraditionaluniversitydiplomas,youtharefurther disillusioned and do not seek out other educational or employment opportunities, again contributingtothehighpercentageofyouthnotineducation,employmentortraining. PossibleeffectsofhighpercentageofNEETyouthinMexico Although, not detailed on the accompanying probably tree, Mexico potentially faces futureissuesiftheiryouthworkforcedoesnotpursuefurthereducation.Onepotentialaffectis anunskilledfuturelaborforce.Asacountry,ithasplanstobecomeamanufacturinghubwithin fiveyear,butifitisunabletoproviderelevanttrainingtoitsyoungworkforce,thisgoalwillnot be achieved (Ringley, 2013). It has already made strives to improve VET training by working with foreign government and local NGOs through holistic workforce readiness programs. Additionally,Mexicoisinvestingmoreintheeducationsystemseenthrougha14%increasein investmentperstudentfrom2000to2009.Anothereffectismoreyouthseekingalternativesto formal employment, most likely through joining gang and drug cartels. This could have a negativeconsequenceonsocietyinthattherewouldbemorecountrywideviolence. RelevancetoDPMItraining Discussed and tested during week one, a problem tree is an essential tool of development agencies to help understand the root causes of problems. It can also help organization understand where it should focus an intervention in order to make the most impact(ParetoPrinciple.)

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WorksCited Castillo,E.(2013)SweepingEducationReformSignedbyPres.EnriquePenaNieto,Weakens TeachersUnion.Retrievedfromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/education reform_n_2761527.html Kis,V.Hoeckel,K.Santiago,P.(2009).LearningforJobsOECDReviewofVocationalEducation andTrainingMexico.Retrievedfromhttp://www.oecd.org/edu/skillsbeyond school/oecdreviewsofvocationaleducationandtraininglearningforjobs.htm MexicosPeaNietoenactsmajoreducationreform.(2013).TheBBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldlatinamerica21582629 OrganizationforEconomicCooperationandDevelopment(OECD).(2013).BetterLifeIndex, Mexico.Retrievedfromhttp://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/mexico/ OrganizationforEconomicCooperationandDevelopment(OECD).(2013).BetterLifeIndex: Education,Mexico.Retrievedfromhttp://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/education/. OrganizationforEconomicCooperationandDevelopment(OECD).(2009).VocationalEducation andTraininginMexico:Strengths,ChallengesandRecommendations.Retrievedfrom http://www.oecd.org/edu/skillsbeyondschool/45167044.pdf Ringley,D.(2013).MexicoPoisedtoBecomeanAztecTiger.TheFoundry.Retrievedfrom http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/19/mexicopoisedtobecomeanaztectiger/ Ringley,D.(2013)MexicoStrikesaBlowAgainstCorruption.TheFoundry.Retrievedfrom http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/05/mexicostrikesablowagainstcorruption/ Testingtheteachers.TheEconomist.May22,2008.Retrievedfrom http://www.economist.com/node/11412309 WorldBankDataBankMexico.(2013) http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/reports/tableview.aspx

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AppendixA:YouthWorkforceDevelopmentinMexicoProblemTree Viewonline:https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/15G_3fac8jZnjGeGLdMy9dLiuBPwTbJ aNUCRGRJ4ORY/edit?usp=sharing