Education in Mexico has a history of being low in quality and, thus, enrollment. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), almost 19% of Mexican children between the ages of 15 and 19 do not have a high school education. As of 2022, the graduation rate of Mexican students is only 45% and those who are receiving an education are not even close to receiving a quality education.
Barriers to Education in Mexico
There are many barriers to education in Mexico, a large one being the shrinking of funds that go towards the school systems. In the past 5 years, Mexico has cut its textbook budget by a third and reduced its teacher training by more than 40%. As of 2018, Mexico is only spending 16.58% of its budget on education, a number that has been declining since 2015. The limited money that is going towards education in Mexico makes it almost impossible to develop a higher-quality system.
Another barrier to education in Mexico is the poverty that 43.9% of people are currently living in. School dropout rates and grade repetitions are very real and serious issues for students living in poorer communities and largely affect teenagers. Many young adults have to abandon the privilege of an education and seek work instead. Low-quality education is more of a reality for children in the marginalized areas of Mexico, exhibiting disregard for regional differences and therefore putting some students at major disadvantages. Due to natural disasters and a lack of funding, many school buildings are in extremely poor condition, disrupting learning and sometimes, putting students in danger.
Nonprofits Improving Education in Mexico
The poor quality of education in Mexico is doing a severe disservice to the future of the country. Thankfully, there are a few organizations that are trying to combat the deeply flawed system. Project Amigo is a nonprofit that is helping the disadvantaged and marginalized children of west-central Mexico by providing educational scholarships, school supplies and health care to those who need it. It accepts monetary, laptop and book donations, all of which help students achieve their academic and extracurricular goals. Other organizations are focusing on training capable and empowered teachers. Enseña Por México trains young leaders who, upon completion of the program, devote a minimum of two years to working in a low-income school. As of 2018, approximately 284 of Enseña Por México’s alumni became teachers in eight different states.
While some schools are in worse shape than others, the overall quality of education in Mexico is poor. Denying young people the right to receive a well-rounded education is no better than denying them any education at all. It is imperative that organizations like Project Amigo and Enseña Por México get the support that they need to help the children of Mexico flourish.
– Ava Lombardi
Photo: Wikipedia Commons