Dubai Cares, part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, will join forces with Sesame Workshop to support a new AED 5,510,000 (USD 1,500,000) program in Mexico that will stimulate young children's learning of math and science. Over the next three years, 1.5 million children (between the ages of 3 and 6) and their families are expected to benefit from the program, which will include a web-based series, training program, and resources for families and educators.
In recent years, Mexico has successfully established universal access to basic education and compulsory Early Childhood Education, but there remains a critical need for stronger math and science instruction for young children, and a persistent disparity in the quality of education between boys and girls.
In August 2015, a Dubai Cares delegation visited Mexico to better understand the educational challenges the country is facing and to determine the most suitable program to support. The group met with various organizations and acquired a thorough understanding of the issues facing children and educators, following open discussions centered on the government's educational policies and priorities and desired national educational outcomes.
"After this insightful process," says Dubai Cares Chief Executive Officer, Tariq Al Gurg, "Dubai Cares identified a program that will effectively address the many difficulties children, teachers, and schools face when it comes to Early Childhood Education, especially when it comes to the learning experience and teachers' capacity. Working closely with our strategic partner Sesame Workshop, our aim is to address the issues of gender bias around math and science starting early and through an ecological approach that starts in the home and extends into schools and the media. We are expecting results that will enrich the education process for all children, no matter if they are boys or girls, especially in parts of the country that are currently deprived of quality math and science resources."
The program is expected to help and inspire parents and caregivers to become more closely involved in their children's education. Research shows that adult engagement has a very strong positive effect on learning. There will also be a media outreach effort to address gender stereotypes by encouraging a positive portrayal of girls, their potential, and their right to an equal education.
Mada AlSuwaidi, Senior Country Program Officer, Dubai Cares concluded, "We live in a world where math, science and technology have become the drivers of social and economic change and, thanks to this new program, we will be able to help Mexico's children - girls as well as boys - become the country's next generation of entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, medical professionals and business people."