At Royal Resorts we believe in opportunities for all, the chance to pursue personal and professional development. That’s why employees who were unable to complete their high school education when they were younger can continue their studies in the workplace through the Royal Resorts Adult Education program. An initiative that began 23 years ago, it has helped many employees achieve their goal of graduation. To date, around 1,800 primary, secondary and senior high school certificates have been awarded to staff members.
Reasons for not completing school in childhood are many and include poverty, difficult family circumstances, illness, having to work or look after younger siblings, distance and cultural barriers, but employees can put all that behind them and begin anew by enrolling in the Royal Resorts Education Program.
Classes in the Workplace
Originally from Chetumal, Linda Gutierrez is a member of the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program team giving classes in the workplace. She divides her time between The Royal Cancun, The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander in Cancun, while a colleague covers The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya and works with some of the employees at The Royal Islander.
Linda has a degree in Tourism Administration and has been with Royal Resorts for almost 14 years. Prior to joining the company, she worked for the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA) and she has plenty of experience and in-depth knowledge of the primary, secondary and senior high school course modules and inscription processes that her students must follow.
She explains that when an employee expresses interest in the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program, the first step is to ascertain whether they can read and write and what grade they reached. This is done by means of an interview and a questionnaire. If the person has already completed several years of school and has the paperwork to prove this, they complete the modules that they missed. Their studies are revalidated without them having to sit an exam. In other cases, employees start their primary or secondary education from scratch, study all the course modules, do homework and sit monthly exams.
Linda says, “The attention is one on one because each student is at a different level and learning capacities vary greatly. They follow the course workbooks published by the Mexican Department of Education (SEP) and I go over each topic with them and mark their homework, explaining where they made mistakes or have questions. If they have difficulty understanding a particular concept, such as algebra, I can give them examples from real life to help them. Sometimes it’s just a case of explaining something in greater depth and they will grasp it. They may not have their basic schooling but they do have experience and giving them an instance using words or situations they know is all that it takes. Although they are unfamiliar with the terms used in the workbooks they are still able to understand the concept.“
“The amount of time it takes someone to complete their studies is really up to them,” Linda adds. “Some students are quick learners or work harder at home. They have two hours of classes a week and they can study up to two modules a month and finish their entire secondary education in 18 months. Of course, if I see that someone is capable of more I will demand more from them and make them work harder.”
The course of studies that students follow as part of the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program is certified by the Mexican Department of Education (SEP) and the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA). In 2016, 27 Royal Resorts employees completed their primary or secondary studies and received their school certificates. Three more finished preparatoria or senior high.
Sixty-six employees are currently enrolled in the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program, and are working for their primary or secondary school certificates and 15 are studying senior high online.
Linda says, “My greatest satisfaction is seeing our employees graduate and receive their school certificates through the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program. I’m so happy that I can share my knowledge with them, explain topics to them and see how they begin to learn. They come to see me not only as a teacher but also as their friend and counsellor. This is very rewarding.” She adds, “I have taught some of my students how to read and write and I see them shake off the shyness and stigma that this entails and become more confident. Many employees are very fearful when they begin their primary education. They have low self-esteem and think that because they are older they won’t be able to learn. I watch them change and gain confidence, the way they express themselves undergoes a transformation. They are able to analyse situations and absorb more information and their decision-making improves. They appreciate the opportunities they are being given.
“I have helped some employees to complete their primary and secondary school and they are now studying Senior High. Others have been promoted and are working their way up the career ladder. Here in Mexico, the Department of Education offers more and more higher education opportunities in the form of free online courses and university degrees. I did a Diploma in Algebra and am currently studying a second Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. It is only a question that our students decide to pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve their goals.
Linda finishes, “I thank Royal Resorts for the opportunity it gave me to participate in the Adult Education Program and help employees with their studies.”
Linda, Royal Resorts Adult Education Program team member
Meet two of the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program students
Spa therapist Nury completed her secondary education in 2016 through the Royal Resorts Adult Education Program and aims to register for Senior High this year. She says, “It was very important for me to finish my secondary education, it is one more step in my personal growth. Linda, my teacher, gave me the confidence I needed to fulfil my objectives. The fact that Royal Resorts gives us the opportunity to study in the workplace is a tremendous help.”
Nury, Spa therapist.
Another Royal Resorts Adult Education Program student is gardener Raymundo, who is studying for his primary school certificate. He says, “It means everything to me to be able to read and write and to be learning. It has helped me see things in a different light. Before I was too shy to talk and now all I want to do is to keep studying. The world really has opened up for me, I feel so much more confident and I’m really happy to be working here. I thank our teacher for her support and Royal Resorts for giving me this opportunity.”
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