School in Mexico
In Mexico, the primary school (takes Primaria) six years. This is followed by the middle school, which is called Secundaria here and lasts three years. During this time, schooling is compulsory in Mexico. Those who then continue to school attend secondary school, the preparatoria, or prepa for short, for another three years. Then you can do the Abitur, which is called Bachillerato here.
Only with school uniform
Students in Mexico wear school uniforms. You can tell from the color of the uniform which school a child goes to. Most children go to public school, but 20 percent of secondary school students go to private school. Subjects in the Secundarias are: Spanish, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, English, Art and Music, Geography, Political Science and Sports.
Doctrine of law and law
In the north of Mexico, the subject Cultura de la Legalidad was introduced a few years ago, the doctrine of law and order. The drug war is raging particularly violently here, with several hundred to thousands of people killing each year. The children should now learn what law and order mean so that they don’t become criminals too. In addition to the consequences of drug-related crime, corruption and people smuggling are also on the curriculum.
Is six years of school enough?
98 percent of the children go to school, but only 667 percent then attend the Secundaria. In rural areas in particular, there is a lack of secondary schools or the parents do not want to send their children to school. They think that six years of school should be enough, because even if you don’t have to pay school fees, the school costs money, for example for school uniforms, notebooks or books. 7 percent of the adult population (aged 15 and over) cannot read, so they are illiterate.
Another problem is poor teacher training. They are not qualified for their job, and sometimes they even buy their job. This type of corruption is quite common in Mexico. And something else is different from ours: if a teacher is about to retire, he or she can decide who should get his job. It goes without saying that you then choose relatives or friends… A reform should now eliminate these grievances.
The school year
The school year in Mexico starts in August and ends in June. The school year is divided into five so-called bimesters of 6 to 8 weeks. There is a certificate at the end of each bimester. The summer vacation lasts six weeks. Then there are Christmas and Easter holidays.
The school day and the roll call
Classes start at 8 a.m. and last until the early afternoon. In primary school the children have 6 hours a day, in secondary school it is 8 hours a day. Every Monday morning and on certain public holidays, such as Flag Day (February 24) and Independence Day (September 16), the flag roll call takes place. The Mexican flag is raised and all students sing the toquebandera, the flag anthem. Then the flag oath is pronounced.
From 5 to 10
The grades in Mexico range from a 10 (very good) to a 5 (that would be a 6 for us, so insufficient):
• 9-10 – Excellent
• 8-9 – Very good
• 7-8 – Good
• 6- 7 – Sufficient
• 5-6 – Insufficient
• 0-5 – (Not used)
On average, a 6 must be achieved per subject in order to be transferred.
Unfortunately, not all children in Mexico are doing well. The children suffer especially from the poverty of their families. In the cities you can also see many street children trying to get by on their own. They earn money somewhere, in pubs, through prostitution or by selling cigarettes or homemade soft toys on the street. Many are drug addicts or ill. A total of 4 percent of Mexican children work.
It is true that only 3 percent of Mexicans live below the international poverty line, which means they have only 1.90 dollars a day to spend. However, 33 percent of Mexicans only have $ 5 a day to live, 9 percent only $ 2.50. These people do not live in extreme poverty, but they are also poor. Poverty is most widespread in the south of the country
For many years the poorest of the poor were seen walking around on the Bordo Poniente. That was a huge garbage dump in Mexico City. This is where the garbage collectors, the pepenadores, looked for anything they could still use or sell. Sometimes the whole family was there, sometimes they even lived in the garbage dump. It was 4 million square meters! The dump was closed at the end of 2011.
However, poor areas and slums still exist in Mexico City. The risk of getting sick here is particularly high because the hygienic conditions are very poor. The people live in self-built huts without running water. The rich are quite different: behind high walls and protected by security guards, they live in their large villas. They too have to contend with one thing: air pollution, which is particularly bad in Mexico City. Many also suffer from respiratory diseases or develop allergies.
Stranded in the north
In the north of Mexico, a country located in North America listed on softwareleverage, especially in the border towns with the USA, such as Tijuana, a particularly large number of children are stranded who wanted to emigrate with their families to the USA but did not make it across the border. The children in the north often witness the drug war, which several drug cartels are fought in bloody fashion. It can happen that they see corpses on their way to school or when the police storm a house. Others get drawn into the drug business and may have to help their dad weigh and package cocaine. In the border towns with the USA, the slum areas continue to grow the more people come and hope to find a loophole. And those who are poor are also more susceptible to becoming criminals.
Children of the Indians
Many indigenous families live in the south of Mexico. Many children do not attend secondary school here because they are supposed to work for their families. Others work after school even if they are only 8 or 9 years old. They help their parents to sell fruit or CDs in the market or help out in the fields.
Children of Indians have another problem: Because of their ancestry, they are marginalized and treated badly. Unfortunately, skin color and origin still play a major role in Mexico and also determine the future of every child.