Teachers, Children, Parents Without Digital Tools for SchoolBy Jan Hogewoning | Tue, 09/01/2020 - 17:02
Even though the new school cycle has managed to resumed digitally, the multitude of problems that families and teachers face have not been resolved. Infobae writes that there are two key issues that both parties face: lack of connectivity and digital tools and lack of digital knowhow.
According to data collected by INEGI in 2019, only 45.4 percent of Mexican households have a computer. The same survey found that only 50.9 percent of Mexican homes had an internet connection. Juan Martín Pérez, Director of Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México (Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico), recently told Infobae that by not providing students with digital tools (which includes devices and an internet connection), the government is not meeting its obligation to provide education to every child. David Calderón, President of Mexicanos Primero (Mexicans First), an organization that lobbies for more inclusive education, recently commented to Infobae: “It is not a task solely of the Ministry of Education, but rather of the Ministries of Economy and Finance that should be working with internet providers so children and their families they can have data at no cost." Calderón also pointed out that the cost to connect to the internet is preventing public education to be free. Pérez also said that teachers could claim payment for their internet connection as part of their salary as digital teaching was originally not considered in their contract.
While the lack of devices and weak connectivity in many Mexican homes, including those of teachers, is a pressing issue, another problem that has been overlooked is the lack of digital literacy among Mexican teachers. “Teachers … are not experts in creating a digital learning experience. This training is not well-established in normal schools,” said Calderón. Both Pérez and Calderón agree that in the future, it will be indispensable to train teachers in digital schooling.
To learn more about the issue of access to digital education, read our article on the Ministry of Public Education and the Ministry of Economy’s announcement regarding digital education.