EconomyThe scope of a larger budget for education

The scope of a larger budget for education

(Expansión) – Let’s talk about the Federal Government’s budget for 2023, whose project was announced last week and will be left for discussion by deputies until November 15, the deadline for approval.

In particular, let’s talk about the budget for Education, which expects more resources for next year, but does not prioritize the accompaniment of teachers or actions to improve the quality of services.

In the Project of Expenditures of the Federation 2023, the Education function registered a real increase of 6.6% compared to the amount approved for 2022, to settle at 910,692 million pesos. This concentrates resources both for the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) and those for other agencies and funds related to this function, such as the National Commission for the Continuous Improvement of Education (Mejoredu) or the federal contributions that entities must use for this purpose. .

A larger educational budget is good news, especially in the face of the consequences left by the pandemic, such as the reduction in enrollment and the loss -or the delay- in the acquisition of priority knowledge.

However, the key question to identify the priorities of the sector is what will these additional resources be used for?

The first thing to highlight is that all educational levels will receive greater resources: for basic education a real increase of 6.6% is expected, for upper secondary education of 3.8% and for higher education of 2.1%.

However, these changes are moderate compared to the additional 39% that the “Other Educational Services and Inherent Activities” sub-function will receive. Why? This item has 45,881 million pesos assigned to cover activities related to administrative tasks, teacher preparation and educational quality.

So far I was excited. Could it be that in this exercise priority will be given to teachers and everything related to evaluations to generate evidence? Sadly, after looking at specific programs, I realized that the answer is no.

While the Escuela Es Nuestra will receive a budget 88% higher than the previous year, both the Program for Teacher Professional Development and the Strengthening of Educational Education -both that contribute to the continuous training of teachers- register an increase of 2.3% in real terms. Where are the priorities?

In the same sense, Mejoraedu, which can play a fundamental role in the diagnostic evaluation of knowledge and generate data that guide decision-making, expects a budget of 630 million, almost 2% higher in real terms than that of 2022. Will it be enough for the challenge you face?

Investing in quality education is investing so that people develop productive capacities that allow them to access better jobs. It is a way to combat poverty and inequality. It is not enough just to get students to go to school, it is necessary to make the most of the time they spend there. Unfortunately, this is not among the priorities of this Administration, which could put the professional future of millions of children and adolescents at risk.

What will it take to take the issue seriously?

Editor’s note: Fátima Masse is Director of the IMCO’s Inclusive Society. Follow her on Twitter as . The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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