Return to School to Revive Different Economic SectorsBy Antonio Gozain | Tue, 08/24/2021 - 15:44
August 30 will not only mean the long-awaited return to in-person classes for thousands of children, but also a much-needed reactivation of different economic sectors that have suffered for over a year. According to the Chambers and Businesses Council of the State of Mexico (CONCAEM), an estimated of 40 percent of the whole Mexican economy is somehow linked to the students.
There is an urgent need for children to return to school, considering that 55 percent of Mexican homes do not have a computer and 44 percent do not have access to internet, said Gilberto Sauza Martínez, President of CONCAEM. There is also, however, a significance economic impact in keeping children at home. “The economic impact has been brutal over the last year, but in addition to this, we run a very serious risk in terms of educational backwardness for the country, which would not be manageable for at least a decade,” he said in press conference.
Sauza highlighted the need to continue reviving economy, and a return to school will help in this regard. Mexico, before the pandemic, had over 47,000 private schools, from preschools to universities, from which 20,000 have been shut down permanently, changed owner or interrupted operations at least until the situation gets better, he added. Mexico’s educational crisis could lead to a social and economic one. During the past year, 3 million students left the private sector and inscribed in public schools. Another 1.8 million will not begin the next school year, according to INEGI.
Sauza urged parents to be extremely cautious and follow the health instructions given by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. “Sometimes, the adults are the ones who infect kids who have been locked down extremely cautions, while adults themselves have relaxed the measures and caused new COVID-19 outbreaks,” he said.
The return to in-person classes proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Hugo López Gatell, Deputy Minister of Health, was originally criticized by some sectors of the population but applauded by UNICEF, which informed that almost 25 percent of the world’s children not attending to face-to-face classes are Mexican. “We have 750 million children who are about to go back to in-person classes and, unfortunately, still 150 million children who have never returned to face-to-face classes in 18 months. Unfortunately, Mexico contributes a good part of those 150 million, with almost 37 million,” said Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, UNICEF’s representative in Mexico.