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Mexico Bilingual Edu

Mexico Bilingual Edu

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Published by Umesh
This paper by a Harvard student explores the progress of education among the ethnic and lingustic minorities of Mexico for a course by Professor Fernando Reimers
This paper by a Harvard student explores the progress of education among the ethnic and lingustic minorities of Mexico for a course by Professor Fernando Reimers

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Umesh on Mar 30, 2009
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05/11/2010

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A811 Mexican Education and Ethnicity (Bilingual Education); submitted to Prof.Reimers , Harvard Univ. Grad. School of Education : by Umesh Sharma March 2005
A811 Memo 1By Umesh SharmaMarch 3, 2005
Race, Ethnicity and school education: the Mexican case
Introduction
Mexico’s indigenous population is severely lagging behind in most socioeconomicspheres, including education in comparison to the mainstream populations comprisingmainly of mestizos and a small percentage of white people (Schmelkes, 2000). TheMexican government has taken some policy initiatives for improving the developmentlevel of the indigenous people –through “multicultural education.The process started in1920s and has evolved over time to its current level (Schmelkes, 2000; Dawson, 2001).However, along the way it suffered many setbacks also. In sum, the policy measures havenot been sufficient in addressing the inequalities (Schmelkes, 2000).The question remains whether the government has been sincere in its attempts inaddressing the issue. I compare the Mexican initiatives with that of Bolivia in thisregard. It appears that the Mexican government has been sincere in its attempts inimproving the development level and socio-economic power of the indigenous populations (unlike Bolivia) (Larsen, 2003). Historically, its initial educational strategiesfor indigenous people (1930s onwards) –for cultural pluralism-had indeed shown some positive results. However, they had been offset by changing political ideologies-whichresulted in changes in the educational policies, sometimes causing a reversal the processofdevelopment. Recently, the policies for cultural pluralism were resumed formally in1979. Nonetheless, the government has faulted in proper implementation of its sound
 
A811 Mexican Education and Ethnicity (Bilingual Education); submitted to Prof.Reimers , Harvard Univ. Grad. School of Education : by Umesh Sharma March 2005educational policies and has been negatively biased in the allocation of resources to theIndian community schools (Schmelkes, 2000; Dawson, 2001).
Current status of educational attainments of the indigenous people of Mexico:
On the whole, Indian students score lower than all other groups in Mexico in terms of:school facilities, teacher and other resources, students’educational attainments. Mestizos(mixed blood of whites and Indians) form the majority of the population.
Enrollment rates:
Indian communities live in the remotest regions of Mexico and areamong the poorest in the country(Schmelkes, 2000). As seen in table 1, the Indiansform about 7.4% of the Mexican population, yet in primary schools only 5% of thestudents are Indians. This suggests a lower rate of enrollment for Indians compared toother communities. Further a group of Indians work as migrant workers in agriculturalfarms, who never stay long enough for their kids to be enrolled at school. Roughestimates put that figure between 400,000 and 700,000. Thus, in the total figure of out-of-school children, the proportion of Indian children is much higher (Schmelkes,2000).
Passing rate:
The passing rate of Indian students as a whole is five percentage points lessthan that of all the rural students (including the Indians). However, certain Indiancommunities have much lower passing rate –such as Chiapas whose passing rate is
 
A811 Mexican Education and Ethnicity (Bilingual Education); submitted to Prof.Reimers , Harvard Univ. Grad. School of Education : by Umesh Sharma March 2005nearly ten percentage points lower than the rural average passing rate (Schmelkes, 2000).Table 1: Indian studentsparticulars
SNParticularsAmount
1.Indian peoples proportion in population of Mexico7.4%2.Percentage of students in primary schools –of Indianorigin5%3.children of Indian migrant workers out of school 4000,000to700,0004Total number of children out of school1,300,0005.Passing rate in primary school rural students90%6.Passing rate in primary school Indian students85%7.Passing rate in primary school –Indian students –Chiapascommunity81%Source: Schmelkes, 2000 Unequal Schools, Unequal chances
Teachers:
The proportion of male teachers is higher (66%) in Indian schools comparedto 38% in rural marginal schools (Table 2). Similarly, the proportion of qualified teachersis lower in Indian schools (Table 2) compared to other types of schools. Only Indianschools employ teachers who have nine years of schooling or less (20.9% of their staff)whereas only 2.3% of their staff have sixteen or more years of schooling compared to35% of staff of rural developed schools and 24% of the staff of rural marginal schools(Schmelkes, 2000). .

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