Photo: Línea Directa

By KELIN DILLON

Students in the Mexican state of Jalisco have been given the go-ahead to restart in-person education by the state’s government, despite not yet receiving the green light on the Mexican government’s traffic-light covid risk ranking system, something the federal government staunchly insisted states would need to reopen schools, until now.

Jalisco, located along Mexico’s western Pacific coast, currently sits with a yellow ranking, meaning it’s determined to be of medium risk for the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The state intends to educate 20 percent of the 2.3 million-plus-strong student community in the state, according to Jalisco’s Secretary of Education, Juan Carlos Flores Miramontes. However, since the resumption will be voluntary for both students and teachers, it’s unclear yet just how many will utilize the opportunity.

Students who choose to participate will be able to attend in-person classes four times a week, every two weeks, in an effort to prepare schools for the planned full return to classes in August and to trial-run safety measures like mask-wearing, sanitization, social distancing policies and temperature checks at entrances.

Jalisco’s Secretariat of Education reported over 3,000 schools in the state would partake in the program, with a fund of 60 million pesos to rehabilitate schools that may have been vandalized or dilapidated by disuse over the past year.

Just last week, Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) shot down the National Association of Private School’s hopes of resuming in-person education, citing the lack of a green go-ahead ranking on the traffic light system as reasons for the denial.

Some say Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez’s reopening of schools, despite its yellow traffic light ranking, could be an act of defiance against the in-power leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) government, considering Alfaro Ramírez’s membership to the Federalist Alliance of Governors, consisting of governors from conservative parties like the National Action Party (PAN) and Party of Institutional Revolution (PRI) that oppose Morena. 

The alliance governors have repeatedly spoken out against the Morena-controlled government on multiple topics such as vaccinations and management of the coronavirus crisis, lobbying for what they deemed best for the wellbeing of their states.

…March 3, 2021

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