Mexico will broadcast classes on TV, children will stay at home

Officials fear children could become COVID-19 carriers and infect their families

Mexico will broadcast classes on TV, children will stay at home
The educational instruction will be available from 7 AM to 8 PM - Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP
English 17/08/2020 11:01 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Alberto Morales & Teresa Moreno/EL UNIVERSAL, Christopher Sherman/AP Actualizada 15:58
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Distance learning will begin for more than 30 million Mexican school children on August 24, but a return to classrooms will remain an uncertain goal, Mexico’s Education Minister announced today.

Moctezuma said with the help of teachers and families, children will continue with their education.

Minister Esteban Moctezuma Barragán and executives from the country’s largest television networks presented a plan to put educational instruction on television.

Moctezuma said that risks to in-person education are too high. Officials fear children could become COVID-19 carriers, infecting relatives at home.

“We wanted to return to in-person classes, but it is not possible, nor prudent,” Moctezuma said.

Students will not return to classrooms until the government’s version of a stoplight to evaluate the pandemic’s risk is safely at green.

Until August 2, Mexico reported more than 430,000 COVID-19 infections and nearly 48,000 deaths.

Moctezuma cited several countries that had opened schools and then had to close them as infections spread.

Recommended: Mexico to reopen schools with COVID-19 preventive measures

In Mexico, remote indigenous communities will be able to access instruction through government radio stations. Moctezuma said television was a good option because government data shows 94% of homes have one. Also, around 140 million free textbooks will be distributed among students.

In cases of multiple children at different grade levels in a home, Moctezuma said programming would try to take this into account and that classes would be repeated at multiple time slots.

“It is returning to classes with all of the formality,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “This is not an emergency or transitory course. It is starting classes per the education plan.”

The president said details about the costs would be shared soon, but that they would be minimal.

The government signed a contract with four TV broadcasters: Televisa, TV Azteca, Grupo Imagen, and Grupo Multimedios. They will provide education to 30 million children. It is unclear if private schools will follow the same scheme.

The educational instruction will be available from 7 AM to 8 PM. The government will provide more information at a later date.

Meanwhile, public autonomous universities will determine when will students return to their campuses.

Mexico first closed schools on March 20. 

Recommended: COVID-19 and education in Mexico

A hybrid education model

On July 23, Mexico’s Public Education Ministry (SEP) informed that the return to academic activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic would take place through a hybrid model with in-class and online classes.

“The pedagogical perspective that will persist in the future will be a hybrid model that will involve both remote education and in-class education, according to the needs of each of the state education systems,” said Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma.

Moctezuma reminded state education ministers that federal authorities would implement nine measures to protect the school community, including students, teachers, school staff, and parents. 

One of the measures is amid at protecting teachers who are part of vulnerable groups. 

Also, everyone will have to wear face masks and follow physical distancing measures.

In case a person contracts COIVD-19 at school, it will shut down for two weeks.

New schedules

Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma has announced the new schedules and TV channels where authorities will broadcast classes. 

The classes will be broadcasted from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm. The classes will be repeated, and there won’t be commercial or political ads during the broadcast.

Three TV channels will focus on basic education, and two others on higher education.

Tv channels Canal Once, Televisa, Tv Azteca, Ingenio Tv, Imagen Televisión, among others, will broadcast basic education classes. On the other hand, channels like Ingenio Tv, Milenio, and others will broadcast high school classes.

The Education Ministry has published the complete schedule for students at all levels. You can find the complete schedules here.

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