Delphine Gomez will leave the Ministry of Public Education (September) to compete for governor of Mexico for the second time in her career, but during her tenure as Secretary of State she has not resolved the education system’s biggest urgency: getting an accurate diagnosis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during two years of remote classes, as well as on its effects on learning and dropout from school, in addition, Neither has defined a clear strategy for recovering students, specialists agree.
In addition, reductions in related areas such as the professionalization of teachers – which had up to 85% fewer resources in 2021 – the disappearance of the full-time school program, reductions in INEA and changes to textbooks without access to education The model first, among other problems, will have implications for education that will emerge in the following years.
So they warn Marco Fernandezresearcher at Tec de Monterrey and México Evalúa, and Peter Flowersa researcher at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, in an interview with political animal.
With regard to the achievements of the outgoing secretary, they indicated late payments to English teachers and distance education facilitators, but they noted that in reality it was only a palliative, since the problems of foundation and full payments had not yet been resolved. Although the government can consider as a contribution to the construction of a supposed new educational model called New Mexican SchoolSpecialists warn that in reality it is of little importance in the midst of the urgency left by the epidemic.
Although Delfina Gomez replaced Esteban Moctezuma as of February 2021, the pandemic still exists and the task of organizing a return to the classroom face to face, she did not achieve this in the following months according to the guidelines dictated by the Federation, but rather the governments who made the decisions according to for each context.
The main responsibility of SEP Diagnostics had influences at all levels of school communities after practically only two sessions with classes through television, which is the main strategy of the federal government in educational matters during the pandemic.
however, did not comply with this. At the moment, only a few entities are promoting these diagnoses, which is necessary to create the following strategies, say the specialists.
“There is no comparison between how we are, how we set priorities, and how we work with teachers In schools to make the road to recovery, how to regain learning. Instead, we waste time on ideological debates such as changing curricula,” says Marco Fernandez.
The researcher insists that what is really serious is that there is no strategy to counter this reality: “Today we have 367,000 young people below secondary education, 200,000 young people below secondary to high school and kindergarten enrollment is 13% lower, and there is no definitive measure In this regard “.
According to data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), at least 628,000 young people between the ages of 6 and 17 have interrupted their studies due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. A decrease in this volume means a 13-year setback in the level of school attendance.
Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) estimated that the pandemic had caused a delay in Mexico equivalent to two years of study. Before the pandemic, Mexicans reached average apprenticeship scores corresponding to the third year of high school, and today they will only reach the equivalent of the first year of high school.
Added to this is the disappearance full time schools, a strategy over many years that served the most vulnerable areas with food services and long hours in schools. Although the SEP insists that parents can contract both services with the resources they receive through the La Escuela es Nuestra programme, it is not yet clear how they can do so, and there are no assessments of those who have achieved it.
And Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration also elevated higher education to constitutional status as compulsory and promised to establish The Federal Special Fund for Compulsory and Free Higher Educationbut no resources were allocated to it.
Gomez also left Marx Arriaga, director of educational materials at SEP, “as a free agent,” “so that he can act on his own by preparing textbooks and suggesting a study plan in the absence of an educational model,” Pedro Flores explains.
For the researcher from the Autonomous University of Querétaro, the changes in the direction of the SEP, first with Esteban Moctezuma, who has worked for more than a decade with businessman Ricardo Salinas, and then with Delfina Gómez, who will now be Morena’s candidate for governor, added to the inaction on educational matters in the half The first of the six-year period, shows that this administration “is clearly not interested in education, and the effects will not appear immediately, but in the following years”.
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