Photo: Columna Digital

By KELIN DILLON

As Mexico fast approaches its Aug. 30 start date for in-person education for children, the implementation of its back-to-school plan has been fraught with confusion for Mexican families nationwide.

Some parents have noted that their children who go to public and private schools have two different returns to class, with the public schools being completely in-person while many private schools are choosing to continue with virtual classes. Thus, many are concerned about sending their kids to school without them actually being admitted inside.

Many are facing concerns about the health and safety protocols being properly followed in schools considering the covid-19 Delta variant has been sweeping through children rapidly, unlike the original strain. As the nation’s minors have not been given vaccinations against the virus, though the government has said it would consider doing so, nearly 9,000 Mexican children have been hospitalized due to effects from coronavirus as of Monday, Aug. 16.

While a letter crafted by the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) was supposed to confirm the commitment of families to engaging in schools’ health regulations, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) dismissed the letter as “useless and bureaucratic” and discouraged its use.

AMLO likewise claimed all confusion surrounding the return to school was a “smear campaign, aimed at instilling fear,” and that everything was continuing according to plan.

“Our adversaries are very irrational, very irresponsible, unethical. How can they lie when it comes to such a delicate matter, health, education?” asked López Obrador rhetorically. “If problems arise, we are going to act. We are attentive to the situation.”

Still, the concerns of parents persist. Some of the teaching population has expressed pushback about returning to classes in the middle of Mexico’s third wave of the coronavirus, and experts across the education sector say there is a distinct lack of planning in the country’s back-to-school program. 

Leave a Reply