How is the Return to In-Person Classes Going?By Antonio Gozain | Tue, 08/31/2021 - 08:35
As the Mexican government announced weeks ago, students from elementary to middle school returned to in-person classes across the country this Monday. While thousands of schools have opened, preliminary attendance results for every state have not yet been announced by the Education Ministry (SEP).
To a greater or lesser extent, most states across the country were able to reopen schools for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year excepting Michoacan, which decided to wait for the sanitary situation to be under control, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur, where hurricane Nora forced authorities to postpone in-person classes until at least middle September. Remote and hybrid classes are also offered in the 32 states.
Mexico City’s return to face-to-face education was successful, said in press conference Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who assured that roughly 90 percent of the city’s schools were able to open. With 2.4 million elementary and middle school students in Mexico City, it is early to know what percentage of them have already returned.
In Hidalgo, 15 boroughs with 1,263 schools received authorization from the state’s government to re-open, while the school year began remotely in the other 69 municipalities, including Pachuca. In the Bajio region, thousands of children returned to their schools, with prior authorization from each state’s sanitary and education authorities.
Coahuila began its second face-to-face classes week of the school year, after becoming the first state to officially reopen schools on August 23. During the last week, over 91,000 students and 4,787 teachers from 434 schools returned in a hybrid system. Guerrero inaugurated the 2021-22 school year informing that more than 1 million students returned to classes this Monday, 86.5 of them remotely; 1.7 percent with a hybrid system and 11.8 percent with in-person classes.
Nuevo Leon, Jalisco reopened also reopened schools and let the students’ parents decide what system they consider best for their children. Oaxaca and Chiapas were also able to reopen some of schools, despite the opposition of teachers’ union CNTE.
Puebla began its 2021-22 school year in over 11,000 schools, with most of them implementing remote education. “We have to invite and knock on every student’s door to convince them that the right decision is to return to school. I know there will soon be a social response, so we can have everyone in class following the (sanitary) protocols,” posted on his Twitter account Governor of Puebla, Miguel Barbosa.
With official figures yet to be announced, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s initiative was well received across Mexico, with 29 states reopening schools in accordance to their pandemic, social, economic and meteorological situation.
"It is a very important day because children and teenagers are returning to public and private schools in the country. Every effort has been made; teachers, fathers, mothers, municipal authorities, governors and SEP are participating,” said President López Obrador during his morning conference, which also included connection with governors from different states, to whom he thanked for their cooperation before saying that “school is irreplaceable, it is the second home where not only knowledge is received, but it is a center of coexistence, where education is shared.”