By José Alberto Gaytán García*
Invited last week by the Secretary of Education of Veracruz, Dr. Victor Alvarez Arredondo was the distinguished scholar Luis Eugenio Todd Perez, who gave an interesting lecture to education officials, including directors and rectors of technological institutes and technical universities of the state. The knowledge and academic credentials of Dr. Eugenio Todd are impressive and overwhelm anyone, believe me between thinking as this man did to occupy high positions he has held and reflect on the monumental truths that he says on national education, one delves into a vast sea of ideas.
Let me quote a “Jarocho” reference to better clarify my comment: listening to Eugenio Todd is like navigating the Gulf of Mexico in a fragile little boat, in February, month of carnival and the strong north winds, or rather, it is like drifting in an immense “rough sea of ideas”.
Luis Eugenio Todd Perez, likes to be presented as a doctor by profession and a teacher by vocation; graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, did his graduate studies at Cornell University in New York, Georgetown in Washington and the school of Medicine of the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
In Nuevo Leon he was secretary of health, secretary of education and culture, general director of the council of science and technology and rector of the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon. At the federal level, Eugenio Todd, was undersecretary of higher education and scientific research in the SEP and internationally he was the permanent ambassador representing our country at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO), he was also Mexico’s representative to the Latino Union based in Paris, France, he is currently the director of CECYTE of Nuevo Leon.
In the view of this Mexican thinker, the only two values able to transform contemporary civilization are science and art. In the context of what he called “The Bermuda Triangle of National Education”, a strong critique of our education system, Eugenio Todd is convinced that the historical concentration of the political and administrative power of the central authorities prevented the development of regional and local models of education. Todd says that in education, as in politics, in football and in love, what matters are the results and the results delivered to Mexican society have been bad since our students cannot read, understand, nor count. Here, Todd thinks that we apply wrong the basic formulas of knowledge, formulas that include training teachers to teach math well, fundamental matter in the proper application of the scientific method, Todd reminds us that if we do not know how to count, we will not learn, because the one that cannot count has no method to learn.
For some time, Eugene Todd and Victor Arredondo have been working on the design of an educational project that could be called “Tailored suit” which is to link the education of our students with the needs of industrial, agricultural, ecological environment, etc. In this project, both thinkers share three very valuable things for a task of this magnitude: friendship, experience and knowledge.
It is true, we urgently need a “Tailored suit” but not any suit, we need a fine suit that suits well to a new generation of Mexican researchers and entrepreneurs capable of competing with researchers from the world’s best universities such as Harvard , Yale, Cambridge, Chicago, etc. For this, it is essential that our laboratories and workshops from our universities and technological are well equipped with modern technology and researchers well paid, well trained, capable of forming competitive first world students and Nobel Prize winners; hence the urgency to create the caption “Research support” since this concept does not exist in the language of Mexican higher education. Incidentally, the current budget allocated to our educational institutions, such as technological institutes, is just enough to pay the payroll staff, and nothing more, therefore, that “Tailored suit” is urgent.
Ah, but to wear a suit like this, we need a tailor that knows how to cut and sew fine “cashmere”, one that will fully understand the issue. Now, on second thought, for a work of this nature it needs not one but several tailors, but the good ones, fine, high fashion, like Victor Arredondo and Luis Eugenio Todd.
Acerca del autor
- José Alberto Gaytán García ha escrito artículos y ensayos de corte académico en diarios y revistas de México y de los Estados Unidos; ha participado en importantes proyectos académicos e impartido conferencias sobre temas de historia, tecnología y educación en el marco de las relaciones entre México y los Estados Unidos, tema en el cual realizó sus estudios de doctorado en The Graduate School of Internacional Studies de la Universidad de Miami.