Our school population is, if I have to define it in one word, heterogeneous. Because the way places at school are offered—and I’m not talking about entry, but about how places are allocated—responds to the University’s criteria, and the priority is admitting students that live within a radius of 3 kilometers. The next priority for the University are students who have Universal Child Allowance [social allowance] and the ones coming from public schools, followed by students coming from private schools that charge a certain fee which is usually low—in general these are the religious schools in the area. And lastly, any open seats are offered to students that don’t meet these conditions but have applied. So far we’ve had more applicants than available places, so in all cases the matter was established by a public draw. Because of this, the group of incoming students is absolutely heterogeneous and that’s wonderful, isn’t it?
That is to say, we’re not selecting the best-performing students, or the ones with the best conditions and possibilities, but we’re also not selecting the ones with the worst conditions. We have a wide range and that’s why I speak about heterogeneity and because of this, the work is more fluid, richer, harder if you will. It’s extremely important for us to listen to their interests. Being able to listen to the choice made by each student in relation to academic matters is important to us. I mean, if we have a student who’s going to choose the journey they’ll take in their secondary school trajectory, it means they have been empowered to make academic choices. “See, you have the chance to take such and such subjects this term. Let’s put together a course of action that will let you be satisfied with your choices, be in a position where you can attend classes for those subjects and move forward in this trajectory.” It’s a personal conversation about their possibilities, their wishes and interests. Right? This is done one-on-one, sometimes the student sits down with the coordinator, sometimes with me, to discuss academic matters. And another aspect comes into play here that has to do with the socio-educational role, and as a result we have to keep in mind the living conditions of each of the students’ families.