MEXICO: Increases the school day to eight hours

An noteworthy piece of legislation in Mexico, passed by its house of representatives, raises the school day for elementary and junior high to eight hours, from the current four and a half. The Senate still has to do the same.

This is one step, among many, toward providing public school education that is up to the times and offers poor and working-class kids real education.

For years, Mexican public school education has been filled with rote memorization, a lot of patriotic ceremonies, and the day ends early, to boot: 12:30 pm or 1 pm in many areas.

Next step will be finding ways of improving the quality of the instruction. And finding the money to cover the increase in costs.







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One Response to MEXICO: Increases the school day to eight hours

  1. It’s a good concept, based on very good goals. The execution could be a lot more difficult. While the Mexican constitution promises free education, what that means is that the federal government provides the building and pays the teacher’s salaries. The parents, in most cases, and occasionally the local government add the chairs and tables. Most public schools don’t have things like maps or libraries or research material. Art projects are paid by teachers from their own pockets. Parents pay initiation fees, annual tuition plus materials costs, books, and uniforms. (For elementary kids this comes to about $150-175 US per year/child.)

    The problem with the 8-hour day is that the public school buildings and teachers — at least in my part of — are already in use for two sessions a day. The morning kids are out at 1 – so that the afternoon kids can get settled for their session that ends about 6. That seems to indicate that if this bill passes the federal government, the feds are going to have to come up with enough money to build a huge number of new buildings AND to pay twice as many elementary teachers.

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