The 2015-2016 School Year Has Begun
By Jesús Aguado
Basic education students returned to school recently. Researchers from Guanajuato University, however, assert that students in San Miguel de Allende are realizing that the schools are not fulfilling the “promise of a better life.”
On Monday, August 22, more than 1.3 million students went back to the classrooms (55,900 in San Miguel in all levels from kindergarten to university). The delegate for education in the north zone of Guanajuato, Román Cifuentes, went to the Fragua de la Independencia School in San Miguel to inaugurate the school year. In his speech he commented, “The Secretariat of Education in Guanajuato has set up all the educational conditions to welcome the students into its classrooms.”
Cifuentes also remarked that all students would receive their packs of books the very first day since they had already been distributed throughout the state. He also said that the Guanajuato Secretariat of Education had a priority to provide sanitary services and classrooms where they were needed. It was said earlier this year that classrooms at the kindergarten in the Mario Moreno neighborhood would be constructed. Students have been going to class in trailer boxes adapted as classrooms and have had neither a decent playground area nor good protection from bad weather.
Currently there are no new studies on why the students in Guanajuato quit school. The most recent, “Students of Guanajuato, between Desertion and Abandonment,” conducted by several public institutions and researchers and coordinated by Sylvia Van Dijk Cocherthaler, doctor in educational sciences, came out some time ago. Part of the study was republished this year in July by the National Council for Science and Technology.
Previously, Van Dijk told Atención that the study showed that 43 students of every 1,000 in the primary and secondary levels left school in 2007-2008. In the 2011-2012 school year from a total of 1,053,793 students, 76 students out of 1,000 in the state quit secondary school as well as 31 for every 1,000 in primary school.
Van Dijk also commented that other research has shown that in the urban areas of as León, Dolores, Celaya, Irapuato, and San Miguel de Allende, attrition is higher because these municipalities have a larger population and classes in the schools can be made up of more than 50 students, such as in the Heroínas Insurgentes School.
City students have also found that education will not help them to get better jobs. Says Van Dijk “If you go to school, you will have a better quality of life is just a speech, If the students go to school and learn how to solve conflicts without violence, they will have a better quality of life. What is happening is that the school is not achieving that promise. Being able to find work is more important than academic preparation at all levels for these children. Having contacts with anybody who can guarantee them a job is more important than being in a classroom.”
The National Survey of Desertion in High School proved that in the Mexican Republic during 2010-2011, the states with the highest numbers of dropouts were: Nuevo León, 23.55 percent; Distrito Federal, 18.53 percent; Chihuahua, 17.57 percent; Morelos, 17.50 percent, and Guanajuato, 17.48 percent.
The Guanajuato Secretariat of Education advises that in preparatory schools across the country, 15 percent of students quit school. The Secretariat is working to reduce that number to nine percent in 2016-2017. To achieve that goal, they will work with parents so they can instill the value of education in their children as a life project.