New scholastic year starts
By Jade Arroyo
With the return to school of over 127,513 students and 5,000 teachers this past August 20, academic facts, statistics and educative projects were reported by the Education Secretary. This information was given by the Regional Delegation of Education (composed of the municipalities of San Miguel, Dolores Hidalgo, Ocampo, San Felipe and San Diego de la Union), represented by Pedro Uriel Rodriguez Martinez.
First he announced that all the furniture for the school facilities is now in place and the text books have also been delivered. During the past week in León, the job vacancies for the municipalities mentioned above were distributed among new teachers.
Two weeks before the classes started, the teachers received a basic 40-hour course entitled: Transformation of teaching practice, where different subjects were addressed. The relevancy of the Social Participation Councils was mentioned and the importance of their existence and the involvement of parents in the educational process..
Children’s health was also an important issue, and programs to increase awareness about hygiene, alimentation and drug prevention will soon be reaching schools.
This region is not at the top when it comes to educative achievements, but this has improved during the past years: only eight out of every 1,000 children do not finish school and less than three in every 1,000 fail.
“I think we’ve done good work,” the Delegate commented. He mentioned that on a state level, this region is number one on the list for improvement and for children remaining in school at the primary level; it is in second place in middle school completion.
People in this region suffer from social marginalization, with poverty adversely affecting the lives of children. The good rainy season this year is expected to bring in more income and thus help students.
This year, the investment for regional education was 829 million pesos. The investments in infrastructure was 690 million pesos in the current administration.
A topic that has created a lot of controversy is the voluntary economic contributions which were thought of as mandatory in the past. Fortunately that has been worked out to create the law that establishes that education can’t be denied for economic causes and it is free for everyone. Abuse of this law can be denounced to the Education Secretary.
Another worrying subject is alimentation in children and youth in light of the fact that overweight and diabetes are very high in Mexico. Junk food has already been dismissed from the schools, but there is still the problem of street sellers of these unhealthy products. The delegate added that solidarity between teachers and parents is very necessary to the development of the schools and the children. “Anyone who wants to get involved can join the Directive Table of Citizen Participation” he concluded.