Mexico’s federal education authority says that it is working on a plan to return students to in-classroom learning.
The news comes a day after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on the state of Campeche to return to in-person learning in late April, after the Easter holidays.
“Returning to classrooms will be an enormous step in Mexico’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will do our very best to make the return as safe as possible for students and teachers, but of course, there are always risks,” said federal Health Minister Jorge Alcocer Varela.
Students in Mexico last attended school over a year ago, on March 12, 2020. Education authorities calculate that as a result, upwards of 3 million students have dropped out of school.
The international nonprofit Save The Children has joined the chorus of organizations asking Mexico’s federal government to enable students to return to class as soon as possible.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, teachers and students have relied on online education platforms and messaging applications.
It is difficult to know exactly how many students have dropped out of school because of a lack of adequate internet connectivity. However, according to education authorities in Yucatán, approximately 40% of teachers in the state routinely run into problems related to poor or unstable connections.
Despite the relative success of distance learning programs, such as “Aprende en Casa,” there are growing concerns that students are not having their educational and emotional needs fully met.