Children Education in Mexico

In order to develop the theme of this research paper it is very important to give a detailed description of present day children education in Mexico. For this purpose the analysis of the different stages in educational system of Mexico will be given. Moreover, the problems in the educational system will be discussed and the improvements will be analyzed.
2.1 Organizational structure of children education (schooling) in Mexico
It is known that children education in Mexico is divided into the following stages:
Ӣ Preschool
Ӣ Primary school
Ӣ Junior High School or secondary school
Ӣ High School
2.2 Problems in development of children education in Mexico
According to the statistical data, a great deal of students of primary and secondary school age who live in rural areas cannot get through their educational programs, they give up their schools and remain illiterate. As a result of this fact, these illiterate children will have no opportunity to find a well-paid job and they will live in poverty. (Martinic, 2003)
The quality of educational process also is rather low according to the results of the student’s tests. The system of non-university education is still overly centralized and suffers from “bureaucratic encumbrances”. Moreover, the students of Mexican schools are not ready to meet the challenges of the world economy. ( Ramos, 1999 )

Special attention should be paid to the indigenous children who live in the communities. Here the level of education is rather low. Some of these children stop studying because they have no opportunity to continue their educational programs. The schools are located too far from their houses and it takes them a lot of time to get there. There are great difficulties with the teachers who can come to their communities only once or twice a week. Very few teachers have a desire to stay in the communities. The other barrier in education for the indigenous children is the language. All the educational programs are in Spanish. Not all the young people in the communities can speak Spanish. In the communities there are both the indigenous children and the mestizos who represent a mixture of Spanish and indigenous roots. Sometimes, the teachers do not understand them. For example, the children of Mayan Tzotziles do not learn because they do not understand Spanish. According to the statistical data of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of the state of Chiapas, those children and young people who are 14 years old and above this age, have no education, they comprise 17,5% of all the indigenous population. About 45% have only primary education, about 13 % have their secondary education and about 9% have got a degree at universities and institutes. (Arzaba, 2010)

One more thing that creates some problems in developing education is the fact that after the sixth grade parents must pay for the textbooks. Not all the parents can do it. When the income of the family is low they have no opportunity to pay for the textbooks. Poverty is the principle cause of low-level education in Mexico. Children have to go to work in early age in order to support their families. (Martinic, 2003)

2.3 Improvements in children education in Mexico
According to the statistical data, about 32 million students attended all three school levels during the 2009-2010 instructional year. It is more than a ninefold increase from 1960. The length of compulsory education was six years but in 1992 it was raised up to nine years. (Vargas-Hernandez, 2010)

There were primary school and secondary school reforms carried out in Mexico which made it possible to improve the quality of education and to increase the number of students in the schools. Quality School program, Compensatory programs have been funded by the government. One of the major educational programs is Oportunidades. It is also known as Progresa. This program gives cash grants to those families which have low income in order to help their children at schools. One of the new programs is Enciclomedia. This program provides the students with special computer programs which make it possible to learn interactively. (Youshikawa et al., 2007)

2.4 Early childhood education or preschool education in Mexico
Many sociological researches proved the fact that early childhood education of high quality helps children to do well at primary and secondary school. In Mexico early childhood or preschool education has been expanded in the last five-six years due to a special program which improved quality and changed the curriculum for preschool children. The preschool education was expanded due to a mandate for all the parents in Mexico which demanded to sent their children of 3,5-5 years old to preschool. This initiative was a part of the major program which made it possible to carry out a curriculum reform in preschool education. (Yoshikawa et al., 2007)

According to the report concerning the child’s development in Mexico and other countries of Central America, about 200 million children at the age of 5 have no opportunity to get their proper cognitive and social-emotional development because of excessive poverty in their families and problem home environment and undernourishment which cause implications for the development of the nation. The purposes of preschool education are connected with political, cultural and economical aspects.

2. 5 Primary education in Mexico
Primary school or elementary school as it is called in the USA provides teaching the students of 1-6 grades. As the Secretariat of Public Education is responsible for education in Mexico, it was decided that the public schools will be funded by the national government. They will take into account the corresponding policies and mandates. Primary education can be general, bilingual and bicultural, community and adult education. Children have 20 hours of classes each weak. Children of the first and second grade have such classes as Spanish, Mathematics, environmental knowledge. From the third grade they have some more classes. The most important classes are reading, writing and oral expression. Community primary schools are for those children who live in poorest regions and for indigenous children who live in isolated areas. According to the statistical data, in Mexico there are about 100,000 primary schools and about 600,000 teachers are working in the primary schools. It is also known that children who live in the rural sector miss classes and have low level of knowledge in comparison with the children who live in the urban sector. This situation was analyzed by the experts who carried out researches on school attendance by age groups. (McLaughlin, 2008)

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