By RICARDO CASTILLO
Back to School the Broadcast Way
Thirty million Mexican public education students will return to classes on Monday, Aug. 24.
The one difference in their education will be that they will stay at home and “attend school” through television broadcasts.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and Public Education Secretary (SEP) Esteban Moctezuma announced the new education plan to include the mandatory, government supplied textbooks students, which they will receive as of Aug. 15.
The government officials signed an agreement with the owners of four television concessions, who will provide auxiliary channels to broadcast classes from kindergarten through high school from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a daily basis.
The SEP will supply the programming.
Moctezuma also said that teachers be in close contact with their regular school groups since all classes will have official validity and there will be testing as usual.
“This is not entertainment television,” he said.
Private Schools in Crisis
Meanwhile, Mexico’s private schools are under an obligation to hold online television classes along with the government, but these schools will not be closing, even though, according to the joint organizations of the National Association of Public Schools and the National Association for Educational Fostering (ANFE-ANEP), 25 percent of these 48,713 education centers are now near bankruptcy.
ANFE-ANEP President Alfredo Villar Jiménez said 12,178 schools may not be returning to classes and may have to close down.
He said that one week before the school year officially starts on Aug. 24, the exact figure of schools shutting down in bankruptcy would be known.
Currently, according to ANFE-ANEP figures, there are 5,321,481 tuition -paying students taught by 485,188 private teachers, representing 15 percent of Mexico’s total education system.
The bottom line problem private schools face, Villar Jiménez said, is that due to the covid-19 pandemic, many parents can no longer afford private schooling for their children.
Students will have to resort to attending public schools, which, the SEP said, is ready to receive them.
Estimates by Mexico’s National Population Council (Conapo) suggest that covid-19 confinement will translate in approximately 145,000 more births than expected in the years 2020 and 2021.
In a video aired on Monday, Aug. 3, during the government’s daily covid-19 newscast from the National Palace, Conapo President Gabriela Rodríguez said that besides an increased number of pregnancies among couples, the number of unwanted pregnancies among teenage girls ages 10 to 14 is expected to increase by 21,000 over last year’s figures.
AMLO to Meet Governors
AMLO announce he will have a meeting “in the next 10 days, no later,” with the nation’s 32 governors.
The announcement was made after National Governors’ Conference (Conago) President and San Luis Potosi Governor Juan Manuel Carreras requested the gathering to discuss a unified path to follow given the national financial crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
The governors have said that if the gross domestic product continues to plummet the way it is forecast to, federal, state and municipal governments will be getting less resources in taxes.
Hence the importance of the meeting, which is slated to be held in the city of San Luis Potosí.
Navy at Main Ports
The recently appointed director of the General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine Rosa Icela Rodríguez announced that the changes at Integral Ports Administration (API) will start this week with the appointment of at least 12 admirals from the Navy Secretariat.
Among the confirmed officials is Admiral Jorge Luis Cruz Vallado, who will take over the command of the nation’s main Pacific port of Lázaro Cárdenas, while for the Manzanilla port, Vice Admiral José Ricardo Gómez Maillón is the new appointee.
The name of Admiral Romel Eduardo Ledezma Abaroa is likely viable for the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz.
The changes will continue through the month of August.
Sledgehammer Transfer Withheld
Infamous gasoline thief and cartel leader José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, nicknamed “El Marro” or “Sledgehammer,” has not yet been moved to a high security prison since Guanajuato juridical authorities have protested the transfer on the grounds that there is a now new charge on the long list of crimes he is being accused of, that of kidnapping.
While being arrested at the Juventino Rosas municipality, where reportedly over 1,000 military and state police participated, a kidnapped woman was found hidden in a dungeon under a haystack.
Yépez Ortiz is expected to be moved to a State of Mexico high security penitentiary at the latest by next Monday.
No Clemency for Lozoya’s Wife
Federal Judge Sandra Leticia Robledo Magaña refused to issue a writ of habeas corpus (amparo) to protect Marielle Helene Eckes, the wife of notorious white collar prisoner Emilio Lozoya Austin, from being arrested by the Fiscal General of the Republic.
Eckes is wanted in connection with her participation in the Odebrecht bribe her husband allegedly received in exchange for contracts with the state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) oil company, and which was deposited in a bank account to her name.
Judge Robledo said the arrest warrant is well documented on the charges of money laundering, accepting bribery and criminal association.
Robledo added Eckes should face trial in custody.
…Aug. 5, 2020