Economy#NetLetters | The long COVID and the short solutions

#NetLetters | The long COVID and the short solutions

(Expansion) – This summer, no one has to study to take exams for failed subjects: educational amnesty for everyone. This was decided by the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), as a way to ‘help’ the students who lived with the pandemic in the middle of the school season.

On August 29 they will return to classes, but we will not know much about them, except the number of students (about 25 million), because it is information that is used for the Federation’s Expenditure Budget.

What is the lag in literacy? What is the level in mathematics? What are the subjects that will need reinforcement? What should teachers focus on in the coming school year?

We don’t know and they didn’t want to know.

It was wasted that in the last month the students of all levels were in the classrooms to make a ‘measurement’ (not to say ‘evaluation’) to know where the entire educational system is. If after that ‘automatic pass’ was decided, at least there would be data on the comorbidities with which we must live and, based on them, move forward.

At the close of this cycle in June, the secretary of the branch, Delfina Gómez, stated in the Official Gazette of the Federation that “in all cases in which a numerical grade is recorded in the primary and secondary student’s notebooks, the same It cannot be less than 6”. Thus, by decree, the SEP freed students from something as valuable as knowing if they know.

The intention of the automatic pass, Secretary Gómez explained in one of her few public appearances, was to reverse school desertion. Yes, it sounds unusual, but it seems that the only way in which parents decide for a child to return to the classroom is to guarantee that there will be no evaluations or low grades, when the economic crisis, confinement without support and lack of access to technology for distance classes the reasons for school dropout.

Last cycle, 847,000 students in the country stopped taking classes: 656,000 in basic education (-2.6% of 24.6 million students who registered), 160,000 in upper secondary education (-3.1%) and 31,000 in higher education (-0.8%). ).

If we consider that there were 190 working days of class, every day 4,371 students dropped out of their studies in the country. Will ‘everyone pass’ be enough for ‘everyone to come back’?

The civil organization Mexicanos Primero published before the end of the 2020-2021 cycle that 75% of the students who graduated were not able to understand a text according to their school grade. Why was an AC able to measure this data and the SEP not? Why do they refuse to know how this huge body that lives in 260,000 schools throughout 32 states is doing?

In April, the World Bank (which also considers that what is measurable is the only thing that can be improved) published that before the pandemic in emerging countries, 57% of students were unable to read a simple text and explain it, that number rose to 70% after the confinement. The percentage of 10-year-old children in Latin America who cannot read rose, between 2020 and 2022, from 50 to 80%.

This great educational bump that the pandemic brought was, like many crises, an opportunity to review processes, to measure capacities and be honest with the data and work, based on hard but realistic figures, on a better quarry to shore up the country.

According to the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the lack of productivity of ‘undereducated’ people due to the pandemic will produce a blow to world GDP of almost 0.9%, that is, 1.6 trillion dollars ( trillions , in English) by 2040. What does this amount to? For us to remove an economy the size of Spain from the globe.

The World Bank has already baptized this problem as “learning poverty”. And with an educational amnesty like the one launched by our government, it seems to fulfill its promise of ‘The poor come first’

Editor’s note: Barbara Anderson is a business and finance editor, columnist, and speaker. Disability rights activist; He runs yotambien.mx, a news site about inclusion. Follow her on Twitter as The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.

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