The management of the project will be implemented as follows: The Mexican homebuilder, Homex, has already committed to donating the land and construction of the five schools, representing 2/3 of the entire cost of the project. Mexican corporation, Alfa, and financial group, Value, have $450,000 and US-based Worldfund has committed $250,000 to fund student scholarships for the first year of operation. An additional commitment of $1,000,000 to complete funding for the project is sought. Mano Amiga operator, Altius, will oversee the development and management of the schools.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS.
The consortium-led development of five Mano Amiga schools will be evaluated by the following three criteria:
(1) Percentage of students who graduate with passing grades. A 90-percent-plus graduation rate is considered success.
(2) Percentage of students who continue their studies at university, technical schools, or military training. Over 70 percent is considered successful.
(3) Performance on standardized tests which have recently started to be administered in Mexico. Mano Amiga expects the majority of the students to outperform national averages.
August 2008 - First of five schools will open and is expected to serve 280 students in the 2008-2009 school year. So far, 170 students have been accepted.
A consortium of Mexican and US-based NGOs and corporations will scale the Mano Amiga model - which currently reaches 22,000 students at its 28 schools - by building five additional Mano Amiga schools to educate an additional 3,100 students over the next three years. Initially, the schools will educate preschool through 2nd grade boys and girls, gradually expanding to ultimately provide education through upper secondary level (16 to 17 years old).
The private network of Mano Amiga (Helping Hand) primary/secondary schools, operating in Mexico and throughout Latin America, has delivered outstanding results since its foundation 43 years ago. Over 90 percent of its students graduate from upper secondary school (US equivalent of high school) and the vast majority go on to pursue university degrees or technical training. Based on OECD data, only 23 percent of the overall Mexican population has attained an upper secondary education.
Mexican youth are falling increasingly behind their international peers in education levels and this has been an important factor thwarting economic growth in the country. Mexico has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America, but severe inequalities still exist between different socioeconomic groups and areas of the country. Mexico's educational challenges include:
- Despite very good enrollment rates, the quality of education Mexican children receive is very poor. Mexico, with a GNI per capita of over $7,000, ranked 101st out of 125 countries for the quality of its math and science educational system while Vietnam, with a GNI per capita of $620, ranked 65th (Source: Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007)
- Mexico has reached the Millennium Development Goals, but 50 percent of youth are not minimally competent in math and 91 percent do not reach a global standard. (Source: Center for Global Development, 2006)
- Mexico is plagued with very high drop-out rates. In 2004, only 23 percent of Mexican adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had obtained a high school degree, versus 88 percent in the US The average years of total schooling for a Mexican adult is 7.4, compared to almost 13 years in the US
- Educational inequality between the poor and non-poor is severe: Of the 40 percent of Mexicans in their 30s with the lowest income, the secondary school completion rate is 10 percent. Of the richest 10 percent, the graduation rate is 70 percent.