In the midst of the epidemic, Diana Gómez Guerra has been in the middle of customer care at her family store in Mexico City and trying to educate her 10-year-old daughter.
From a small dining room in the back, cluttered with large Coca-Cola bottles, his daughter Helen Michelle struggled with school – especially math.
“I tried to explain things in a different way but they didn’t understand,” Gómez Guerra recalls his attempts to teach the demonstrations. “So they have to wait until Thursday to ask the teachers” – one day Helen Michelle receives a weekly video tutorial.
The coronavirus epidemic has hit Latin America, sending death toll rising and its economy increasing. The region is home to 8 percent of the world’s population but about one-third of the world’s deaths are Covid-19.
It is now creating a problem of education in an area that is rife with inequality and lagging behind in education.
Latin American schools have been closed due to the epidemic, forcing students to continue their education – often as a result of telecommunications and the internet. The closure has been longer than in any other region of the world, according to Unicef, which in a June report said nearly 100m Latin American students were affected by the closure or partial closure of schools.
The fact that schools are closed for a long time is difficult to measure, but there are reasons to complain. The World Bank estimates that long-term closures could cost the region $ 1.7tn in future payments. About 1.8m Mexicans have dropped out of school due to health problems, according to a government study INEGI. And Colombian NGOs are reporting on an increasing number of criminal organizations recruiting young people who have dropped out of school.
Failure to open a school raises serious questions about Latin America’s priorities.
“We made the most expensive decision of the future,” said Carolina Campos, founder of the medical company Vozes da Educação in Brazil. “We decided to open shops and businesses but we are closing schools.”
Brazil resumed its classes, although the resumption varied depending on the state and cities. Argentina reopened the school after intense criticism from child care professionals.
Mexico has kept schools closed for the epidemic – with the exception of temporary openings in other countries, which have been cut off due to poor health. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken steps to address the epidemic, but has announced that repatriation classes will resume on August 30.
“It’s not just a matter of education and social media,” López Obrador said. “We can’t have kids locked up or copied altogether, on Nintendo. It’s very dangerous.”
Re-opening comes as different types of Delta coronavirus are on the rise and anxiety affects the way it can affect children who are not vaccinated. López Obrador was not intimidated, telling reporters: “We must do terrible things for the rest of our lives.” “There is no evidence in the world that there is a Covid-19 epidemic in children,” state official Twitter tweeted.
Teachers received the vaccine, but Mexico still approved jabs for children and adolescents.
A study in the newspaper El Financiero found that 56 percent of parents in Mexico City were opposed to resuming personal study. About 70 percent of children want to go back to school, according to a study by the Mexico City Human Rights Commission.
“If we are healthy, we have a serious problem with education,” said Marco Fernández, a professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
López Obrador advocated to eradicate the epidemic, costing less than 1% of Mexican sales in response. Such damage included tuition and no funding for online support or student training. Teachers teach on weak internet connections – they usually pay out of pocket. Television programs have encouraged these donations.
“The rule here is this: everyone does what they can with what they have,” said Alma Maldonado, an academic researcher at Cinvestav, Mexico.
Teachers say they have been overused and have a lot of questions all the time and have met parents who are not interested.
Mexico’s international coalition encouraged a return to class, although dissenting parties in several states opposed the president’s proposal. Teachers who were protesting for work blocked the opportunity to attend the López Obrador press conference on Friday south of Chiapas, forcing him to speak to reporters in his car. “I will not agree,” the president said.
Anxiety and overpopulation were booming; a fourth-grade teacher is said to have 30 children enrolled in a class of 20 students.
School construction is often disrupted or missing; 23% of Mexican schools are in dire need of water, according to a public-run high school.
Rodrfo Soriano-Núñez, a Mexican sociologist who specializes in education, stated: “There is no guarantee that even private schools are in a good state to return to.
The deplorable state of school architecture speaks volumes about many academics. Latin American students do not do well in the PISA exam, which lasts for 15 years in mathematics, science and reading and is supervised by the OECD.
Meanwhile, parents, have not tried to open public and private schools, except in Argentina.
Rafael de Hoyos, an economist, says the lack of interest in education is not seen as a way to Latin America. He added: “A small number of working women in Latin America – who are being reduced by the epidemic – have helped to make a comeback in the community.”
“Previous research suggests that people are more interested in education,” said Hoyos, who teaches at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. “But the plague showed what we loved.”
Gómez Guerra wants his daughter to return to school, though she is skeptical. He has many customers who refuse to wear masks or social media outlets in his shop, which prompted him to ask himself out loud: “If it is difficult for adults to wash their hands and talk to their friends, what about children?”
But her daughter is tired and locked in a bedroom, says Gómez Guerra. They need training, plus Capoeira and computer training there.
“It’s been very painful,” said Gómez Guerra. “Maybe we should learn to be HIV positive and teach [our children] that he should be careful. ”
With Michael Pooler and Carolina Pulice reports from São Paulo and Ignacio Portes in Buenos Aires