Education here in Guerrero

by Ed K, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 21:01 (4262 days ago) @ The G-Force

Cities like Zihuatanejo attract land takeovers not just for the job opportunities for the parents, and a home to be called their own, but also for the parents to get a chance to educate their kids.
About 25% of the under 25 year old people here in the State of Guerrero are functionally illiterate. All banks, contractors, large employer’s, accountants, etc. have an ink pad for a thumb print documentation of the hen scratch signature for any employee contracts or legal papers. This is a standard procedure.
Most women of 40 years old or older, when living in a small community, are also illiterate. And, because the majority of the Mexican people do not live in cities, the 25% illiteracy also conforms fairly well to the national average.
Plus, the “eldest son” situation is very alive and very much revered here in Mexico. If there are three school age children, which would cost about 50 pesos a day for transportation from an outlying area to and from a school, and the family income is less than 200 pesos a day….It ain’t going to happen. One child will go to school and the others go to work. The child will be the oldest son.
Just a couple of miles outside the cities, for instance the area around the airport in Zihuatanejo, it is a major event when a child graduates from 6th grade at the age of 16. The money is not there to send them to school on a regular basis, and the child loses a lot of time to complete a full school year.
Larger towns and cities have a distinct advantage for a child’s education. It only costs about the same transportation for all three kids as it does for one. There is a large percentage of young adults, including young women, who are educated to at least the high school age in the cities. But, “free education” in Mexico is not like the situation north of the border. Basically the government pays for the school intrafracture and teachers. The parents must still pay a tuition, which pays for the janitor, drinking water for the kids, toilet paper, etc. Plus, the uniforms, a few books, all writing material, and transportation are all paid by the parent. At 200 pesos a day income, that is a tough situation for even sending one child to school.
The well-off ranchers in the outlying areas send their kids to school and the worker’s kids are expected to contribute to the ranch. And the cycle repeats itself. It is really spooky on how many kids out there could have been very competent engineers, doctors, lawyers, or teachers, but never had an opportunity to get past the 6th grade (if even that).
Mexico will never pull itself out of its current situation until education is addressed for all children to have an equal opportunity.

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