Education in Mexico is often criticized for its absentee teachers, rundown facilities and poor examination results. These issues must be addressed to ensure that Mexican children receive quality educations and inspiration to continue their studies.
Many schools in Mexico have initiated innovative programs to provide children with more constructive learning environments. In August, Mexico City-based newspaper Reforma published a magazine advertising many such initiatives.
According to Reforma, 24,500 schools are now taking part in the Full-Time School Program (PETC), a program emphasizing indigenous languages, English, art, sport, culture, music and what UNICEF calls “participatory learning.” This learning model encourages communication, creativity, teamwork and technology use in interactive projects.
National Escala exam reports reveal that children enrolled in PETC schools obtain better results than do their peers, according to one PETC school headmistress. When implemented correctly, PETC has the potential to improve education in Mexico.
For a long time, education in Mexico focused exclusively on academic subjects without promoting the development of other skills. Schools today, however, have started expanding their curricula to give children new opportunities.
The Modern American School in Mexico City, for example, collaborated with the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico to design an eight-month radio, newspaper and television production course. The course allows student to think creatively and learn new and exciting skills.
Other schools in Mexico City have incorporated dance into their curricula to promote physical fitness, creative expression and self-esteem. Dance programs also allow students more non-classroom time during the school day, reducing burnout and enhancing learning ability.
Private schools that have added dance, sports, music and art to their curricula have often experienced the best results. Mexico’s task now is to make sure public schools have the same opportunities for improvement. The country must also ensure that it has the necessary infrastructure, technology and personnel to support its efforts.
– Christina Egerstrom