Apr 092011
 

The Education system in Mexico is explained.   Some statistics are presented for Mexico, Nayarit, the municipalities of Compostela and Bahia de Banderas and local Jaltemba Bay schools. School capacity is analyzed. Drop out and male female participation rates are presented.

The System:

The right to an education is enshrined in the Mexican constitution. Article 3 of the Constitution reads as follows:

“Everyone has the right to receive education. The state-federal government, states, Federal District and municipalities shall provide pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary education. Pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary education constitute compulsory basic education.

The education provided by the State will harmoniously develop all the faculties of the human being and will in him promote, at once, a love for the Nation and the awareness of international solidarity, independence and justice.”

There are a bewildering array of government bodies and programs involved in education but the main one is SEP (Secretaría de Educación Pública) the federal body. Its state level equivalent in Nayarit is SEPEN. It is easy to get confused between SEP and SEB (Subsecretaría de Educación Básica) because it sounds so similar. Besides these basic ones there seems often to be someone representing an entity that I have never heard of that will drop by a kindergarten because they are responsible for supplying materials under some obscure government program or they build schools in particularly poor areas or any number of other functions. It is not just me that is confused because often the teachers cannot explain to me just how they might fit into the larger picture. Often they leave behind no contact info and never return.

The majority of the funding comes from the federal government but 9.3% of students attend private schools. That jumps to 18.9% if only high school level is considered.
pie chart

Basic education covers the first 10 years to an equivalent of grade 9.

Schooling starts with Kindergarten – Preescolar – 2 years – age 4 and 5
Primary school – primaria – 6 years
Junior High school – secundaria – 3 years

After that it gets a bit more complicated but to simplify it is basically:

High school – media superior – 3 years (6 semesters)
…..Profesional técnico i.e. CONALEP, – this is like a technical high school where the emphasis is on job skills training. Locally we have specializations like food, tourism, administration, air conditioning and refrigeration
…..Bachillerato – commonly referred to locally as Prepa, short for preparatorio, this is education intended to prepare the student for entry into an institution of higher learning be it technical or academic. Locally we have a private Prepa which operates in the evening with very few students.

College and University – superior
…..a topic for another day

The various levels of government spent about 63 billion dollars in 2008 on education.
dollars spent

Basic indicators:

Locally our basic education indicator, years of schooling for the 15 years and over population, is second and third in the state behind only the central region of Tepic – Xalisco but short of the national (8.1 years) and state averages  (Nayarit 8 years). From the 2005 INEGI data Compostela shows 6.9 years and Bahia de Banderas 7.7 years.

Year 2000 data shows an illiteracy rate of 8% for the municipality of Bahia de Banderas and 10% for Compostela compared to 9.2% nationally in the same year. By 2008 the national rate had dropped to 7.7%.

basic indicators

The figures above are the best I could find for what appears to be a graduation rate from the various levels of education. What confuses a bit is just how Bachillerato should be interpreted as against Profesional técnico. Clearly they cannot be added together. The 50 to 60% graduation rate would agree with this graph  showing OECD data from 2005.  Sorry for the quality.  Mexico is the last bar.

The national drop out rate is 15.7% at the high school level.  Here again the term terminal efficiency seems to indicate graduation rate. Source INEGI.

drop out rate

Local schools:

We went out to the schools to collect some very basic information in La Peñita and Guayabitos (waiting for Los Ayala data). This is part of a Jalapeño project to have year to year comparable data for our community in a variety of areas. Being the first year there is very little to compare. Our main interest this year was school capacity.

We found 1718 students enrolled in Primary 279 of those in their final year.
In Secondary there were 850 students 254 of those in their final year.
Conalep had 521 with 218 of them in first year.

Physical school capacity at the primary and secondary level (i.e. classrooms) is not a serious problem since afternoon programs are far from full the afternoon program at Plan de Ayala secondary has only 71 of a possible 650 students enrolled.

There is a capacity problem is at Conalep. For the 254 students leaving secondary schools there are only 218 students currently in first year at Conalep and we estimate more than 50 of those come from other communities. That means a shortfall of 33% if they all wanted to attend Conalep. That is consistent with the national short fall of about 40%.

Partly because such a large amount of fund raising this year was focused on scholarships we also wanted to have some base numbers for drop out rate and male female splits.

We found that only 45% of first year students were female but by the third year the proportion was equal. We also found an 8% drop out rate in just one semester. 13% among second semester students. The national drop out rate is 15.7% but we take that to be for the full 6 semesters.

school attendance Conalep

We did not count kindergartens yet but in that area there is a major problem with local capacity which is being addressed by Los Amigos and Rotary with two constructed recently and another two hopefully within the next year. We are looking for funding partners for both of those projects. If you or your group would like to contribute funding please contact Johan at JaltembaJal@gmail.com. Click on the link to see more information about Las Rosas Kindergarten and La Joya Kindergarten the two projects on the drawing board for the coming year.


Additional resources:


Official school calendar 2010 – 2011

Spanish Lesson:

alfabetismo – literacy
analfabetismo – illiteracy
taza – rate
preescolar – preschool – pronounced pray-eskolár

El Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) – National College of Technical Professional Education. Don’t ask how they get the acronym. It was established in 1978 to train middle level technicians for the industrial and service sectors of the economy.  Conalep in La Peñita also offers a program like Prepa i.e. bachillerato .

  3 Responses to “Education in Mexico, Nayarit and Jaltemba Bay”

  1. Very confusing. First: The right to an education is enshrined in the Mexican constitution. Article 3 of the Constitution reads as follows:

    “Everyone has the right to receive education. The state-federal government, states, Federal District and municipalities shall provide pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary education. Pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary education constitute compulsory basic education.

    The education provided by the State will harmoniously develop all the faculties of the human being and will in him promote, at once, a love for the Nation and the awareness of international solidarity, independence and justice.”

    Then: “We did not count kindergartens yet but in that area there is a major problem with local capacity which is being addressed by Los Amigos and Rotary with two constructed recently and another two hopefully within the next year. We are looking for funding partners for both of those projects.”
    Are you asking board members to foot the bill for the Mexican government?

    • Northerners are used to having their government fund education fully. Local facilities are supported to a large extent by the community to make up for a shortfall in government funding. That runs the gamut from parents volunteering to keep the school yard clean, make breakfast for the kids and even repair and build new classrooms. The education committee of Los Amigos is a group of parents who look at the needs of the community, accept proposals from their members and then decide how best to raise the funds and which projects to apply them to.

      One way they raise funds is by advertising the availability of these projects to community groups, and individuals both locally and all over North America. You can read more about the projects of the committee here: http://jaltembajalapeno.com/lang/en/la/school-construction-projects

      Last year the committee raised and invested about 500,000 pesos in this way. Funds came from Los Amigos, Rotary Clubs both local and international, The Jaltemba Foundation, Local businesses and many individuals.

  2. Excellent article Johan. Very informative