Carlos Ornelas- Professional training
My colleague from the University of Granada, Spain, Miguel A. Pereyra, organized the International Symposium on the Reform of Dual Vocational Training, on November 2 and 3. He invited me to speak on “The Mexican Model of dual training”; I added the subtitle: “Between the ideal and bureaucratization.” I argued that dual vocational training did not begin with the agreement between the National College of Technical Professional Education of Santiago Tianguistenco and Mercedes Benz in 1993, but rather dates back to the founding of Conalep, in 1978.
Before entering into the analysis of the agreements between Conalep and the German Federal Institute of Vocational Training (BIBB), and those of the Ministry of Public Education in the following decade with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Austrian Agency for Development (ADA), I address the origins of contemporary technical (or technological or vocational or professional) education during socialist education and the subsequent expansion to form an incredible network of baccalaureate and higher education institutions. The Mexican-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Camexa) and the Employers' Confederation of the Mexican Republic led the import of the model from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Dual vocational training combines study with productive work and, in many schools, with physical education and artistic activities, but the latter does not seem to be a source of pride. The idea of the Mexican Model of Dual Training (MMFD) penetrated the government's spirit and was part of the educational reform of the Enrique Peña Nieto government and is praised by the Cuatroté government. However, it is one thing to import ideas, methods and formal structures and another to put them into practice. In addition, local actors also put their interests at stake. The Secretary of Public Education issued “Agreement number 06/06/15 establishing dual training as an educational option of the upper secondary type” with the purpose of contributing to improving the employability of young people and ensuring that companies have highly qualified personnel under national and international quality standards. The ultimate goal: “Increase the productivity and competitiveness of companies.” However, it does not generate enthusiasm among students, with barely more than 10,000 enrolled.
La Camexa announces on its website that dual education allows participating industries to: 1) Have qualified personnel in accordance with the needs of the company. 2) Save on recruitment and induction/training costs. 3) Reduce staff turnover. 4) Reduce the risk of employing people who do not have the right skills. 5) Have motivated and loyal workers. 6) Increase the productivity and quality of products and processes.
I summarize my interpretation. Seen in its programmatic part and curricular structure, Mexican dual training perhaps contains something of pragmatic education (a la John Dewey) because it aims to educate the mind (theoretical knowledge and abstract concepts), train the body (factory work) and chisel the behavior (work-friendly attitudes) of students. But in none of his approaches does the idea of forming full people stand out. However, the potential is there, although subordinated to neoliberal profit motives. Increase productivity, yes, but to benefit companies by training more competent, disciplined workers convinced that the system works for the common good and for themselves.
I couldn't enter the Alhambra. The line for those who had already reserved entry was about 200 meters; giant for those of us who didn't make a reservation.
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