The coordinating the other teachers. All the other employees

The main focus of this paper is to
investigate the following research question: to what extent education
influences the effect of underdevelopment on gender inequality in Colombia?

 

The need for this paper was not generated
by the usual compelling instinct of analysing the variables in question, but
rather from a captivating attitude of exploring the same constructs that I
myself have experienced during the internship (or work experience) that I am
attending. My tasks are English conversation teacher in order to provide a
better quality education, as well as a coach for social activities, such as
equality standards. The main reason for this choice is that Colombia has a
stigma known as machismo, which
aliments gender inequality and keeps the country in a state of
underdevelopment, both from the social and economic point of view, as different
authors suggest (Berry, 1973; Dollar & Gatti, 1999; Seguino, 2000).

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The institute where I was working was a bilingual school called Fisher Kids, located in the small city
of Valledupar, in the north east of Colombia – very close to border with
Venezuela. The school went from pre-k up to the seventh grade, with the
intention of expanding. The core business of the organization is to promote the
learning of languages and social norms in order for their students to be role
model global citizens. At the time that I entered the organization, there were
37 employees (with me 38). Only 29 of them were full-time employees (1
principal, 18 full-time teachers, 4 coordinators, 3 cleaners, 1 secretary, 1
assistant, 1 driver for the school bus) whereas the others were interns like me,
or maybe they were employed part time to do secondary activities. The
organizational structure was straight forward: the principal was directly over
the coordinators, who then were coordinating the other teachers. All the other
employees could receive orders from anybody above them. This might lead in the
lower-level employees receiving order from anyone and might get annoyed, but
since the institute was flexible, there was a nice environment.

 

Meetings were organized every morning at 6 a.m. before the students came in
to school: Mondays and Wednesday with primary school teachers, Tuesdays and
Thursdays with pre-school teachers, Friday with all the employees –
coordinators had to attend all the meetings. The meetings had this format: the
first 1/1.5 hour the discussion was concerning the everyday issues related to
children, whereas the last half an hour only the coordinators and the principal
stayed in to discuss more serious issues, as well as those concerning teachers
and other employees. Since the main goal of the organization was the wellness,
education and social awareness of the students, there was a low level of
conflict and tension among the employees, given that bad relationships between
teachers might reflect in the kids behavior.

 

Out of the 40-hours weekly schedule that I
was given and required to fulfil, I decided to employ 10 of those hours to
approach the previously mentioned project. Among the activities that I performed with the
students, there were some aimed at flattening the inequalities between boys and
girls, as well as improving the educational level of such kids.

 

Miseducation is all over the place, even though they have full access to
sources. One example can be their image of the other hemisphere; when asked
where I was from, with the answer being Italy, I have seen some people
struggling with the process of where Italy in relation to Rome and Europe is,
and which one is the capital of which. Even though it might be common knowledge
for Western cultures, middle-class Colombians that work their blue-collar jobs 12
hours a day and the other 12 take care of their family might not be acquainted
with basic geography notions. This misbelieves are a result of the fact that
nobody contrasted their arguments when came out in conversation because nobody
knew better. And even if there were some women that might have known the
correct answer, they were way too scared of “overstepping their boundaries” as
a silent, complaints-free housewives

 

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