In Mexico secondary or middle school education includes so called lower secondary and upper secondary education. The first one is called secundaria. Secundaria is now a part of compulsory basic education which is free. It consists of three grades. Children of 12 and 16 years old attend secondary schools. Those students who are older than 16 go to secondary schools for workers and adults. There are about 30,000 lower secondary schools in Mexico. The educational program of this type of education includes mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, foreign languages- English and French. The higher courses include physical education and technological education. There is also distance education which is offered by means of telesecondary. This type of getting knowledge is offered to those children who live in communities in rural areas where the state have no opportunity to build schools. (McLaughlin, 2008)
The second upper level of secondary education is available for those students who have already finished compulsory education. It includes the following systems: general upper secondary education which may be both open and distance, technical upper secondary education which prepares students for universities and technical professional which prepares students for work. General upper secondary education in Mexico is given is special educational institutions such as bachiller colleges, preparatoria schools and science and humanity colleges. Those students who have completed lower secondary school can go to high school which includes technical school and vocational school. High school lasts only three years in Mexico. The term high school corresponds to preparatoria or bachillerato and include grades 10-12. The students of 15 years old to 18 years old go to high schools in Mexico. There are two major programs which are offered to the students. They are The SEP incorporated program and the university incorporated program. The last one depends on the state. There are also other programs which are available only for private schools ”“ International Baccalaureate. These programs are based on the international system of education. Three years of preparatoria are divided into six semesters. The first three semesters are devoted to certain common subjects and the last three semesters provide some specialization for the students. They may learn physical sciences or social sciences. The first group includes electricity, biology and others. The second group includes philosophy, law and others. (Vargas-Hernandez, 2010)
2.7 Higher education in Mexico
The higher education in Mexico is composed of several options for the students: Public Federal university, Public State university, Technical institute, Teacher-training college and Technological university, Polytechnic university, Intercultural universities. Students have an opportunity to get 4-year degree in colleges and universities. It is called licenciatura. In Technical Institutes they can pass a three-year educational programs in engineering and management. They can get a bachelor’s degree in the teacher-training college. Some Technical universities can offer a two-year programs for the students. The major universities in Mexico are the following ones:
”¢ Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. It was founded in 1551 and has a colorful history.
”¢ National Polytechnic Institute, the second largest higher educational institution in Mexico.
”¢ Monterrey’s Technological and Higher Education Institution. It is the best private university in the country.
Statistical data concerning the number of higher educational institutions in Mexico:
”¢ Public federal universities ”“ 8; 420,000 students;
”¢ Public state universities ”“ 31; 880,000 students;
”¢ Technology institutions ”“ 385,000 students;
”¢ Technology universities ”“ 107,000 students;
”¢ Polytechnic universities ”“ 31,000 students;
”¢ Intercultural universities ”“ 5,200 students;
”¢ Teacher colleges ”“ 433; 95.000 students;
”¢ Public state universities with the solidarity support ”“ 42,000 students. (Higher Education Subsystems, 2010)
According to the above mentioned data, we can say that there is a great improvement in the development of educational system in Mexico. The number of educational institutions is constantly increasing. It means that more and more young people in Mexico are ready to get knowledge and to develop their personalities. It will improve the economical, political and cultural sectors in the country in the near future. (Santibanez et al., 2005)
It is known that between 2007 and 2010 about 75 new higher educational institution were created in Mexico. According to the statistical data, Mexico strives to have equal percentage of male and female students. Nowadays 51% of students are women. (Vargaz-Hernandez, 2010)
2.8 Rules and Regulations for Education in Mexico
Nowadays the government of Mexico pays special attention to educational system. The right to education is set forth in the Article 3 of the Mexican Political Constitution. This article says that the right to education is given to every citizen of the country. The state-federal government provides the basic compulsory education which is free. It includes pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education. The education which is provided by the state has the major goal to develop the personality of the human beings and to promote in them the love for the Nation, the State and the people. International solidarity, independence and justice are the key features of the State’s Constitution. Education which is provided by the State should be democratic. On the other hand this regulation decentralizes private institutes, sets forth the autonomy of the universities to govern themselves. (Venegas, 2010)
According to the historical data, human rights in Mexico have always been abused by the government. The indigenous people suffer most of all. The government of Mexico does not care of their education, medical care and employment. The violation of human rights in Mexico includes tortures, repressions, sexual murders and journalists’ murders. (Kirkwood, 2000, p.26)
Political situation in the country has always been a strained one. It is clear that most of the present day problems concerning human rights violation are connected with certain historical facts. Numerous wars and revolutions in Mexico led to the fact that Mexican people are intimidated by the government. For example, Tlatelolco massacre which took place in 1968. The government killed hundreds of students who organized a meeting in the Plaza de las Tres Cultures. The young people wanted the government of Mexico to change its decision concerning the Olympic Games which should be held in Mexico. It was known that the government invested more than $150 million in preparation of the Olympic Games while most people in the country lived in poverty.
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, the president of Mexico did not want to listen to the students requirements. He killed about 300 students and several hundreds were wounded during the meeting. The total number of students who took part in this meeting was about 10,000 persons. (Olson, 2006, para.25)
Nowadays, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, a special institution which was accredited by the United Nations, tries to do everything possible to protect human rights of the Mexicans. The Commission is a public institution which is autonomous from the federal government. It is involved in the investigation of different human right cases including killings of women, strikers and abuses by soldiers. The Commission also pay attention to the issues concerning education in the country protecting human rights of indigenous people in Mexico.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the system of education in Mexico is extensive. 89,6% of all the population in Mexico is literate. Secondary education is compulsory and free. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of problems with indigenous people in Mexico many of whom are illiterate. A lot of new educational institutions have already been built in the states of the country but there are some rural areas where there are no schools and other institutions of education. Mexico boasts its major public university, the National Autonomous university of Mexico, but there are significant problems in public schools. The quality of instruction in Mexican schools is rather low. Not all the students have an opportunity to continue their education in schools. Only 60 % finish primary schools. It is clear that Mexican citizens are poorly prepared for competition in the global economy. The disparity between the poor and the rich is obvious. The rich people have more chances to get good education in Mexico. They choose the best private schools and the best universities. Although Mexico’s education funding has grown compared with last years, it remains rather low compared with other countries. The government should pay more attention to children education in Mexico.