As vaccines offer new hope, is it time for schools to re-open in Yucatán?

Classrooms across Yucatán remained closed. Photo: File
Classrooms across Yucatán remained closed. Photo: File

Mexico’s largest employers’ association, COPARMEX, is arguing that the time has come for students to return to the classroom.

COPARMEX argues that school closures are having severe economic effects on several industries, not just the education sector.

COVID-19 vaccination efforts have already begun in Yucatán, but the rollout is proceeding at a slower pace than previously expected.

Earlier: Private schools in Yucatán buckle under pressure from COVID-19

“It does not make sense that schools remain closed given that most industries have already started to reopen. We need to ensure safety, but Yucatán can ill afford to have its students miss another semester,” said Fernando Ponce Díaz, COPARMEX Mérida president.

In the state of Coahuila, with authorization from guardians, some students have already returned to class. Jalisco is expecting to follow suit and allow schools to reopen in early March. 

Despite the relative success of distance education programs, educators are increasingly concerned over the negative side effects of social distancing on educational performance and students’ ability to cope emotionally with prolonged periods of confinement indoors.

“We can not forget about the emotional needs of students. Teachers need now more than ever to step up and become mentors, not just academically but also emotionally,” said Manuel Castells, a renowned sociologist and interpreter of network society.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.