While the red light persists, the face to face classes will not be reactivated in Mexico, which means going back to classes and the beginning of a new and different school year will be as a virtual class mode, through internet and more over through television and radio, as it was established in the signed agreement between the federal government and the main TV stations in the country to have the widest coverage possible.
For instance, this means having some aspects to analyze, as an example, to know if the parents will buy school supplies and uniforms as every year, and for that, regarding this we asked the opinion of some citizens.
Julia Ibarra is a mother, and for this new school year “I will buy the most basic stuff, like notebooks, pencils, things of personal use anyway, because it´s all gone they have been playing with that, if they ask for more I won´t buy, my economy is not a relief, although they´re home my income has been reduced due to the pandemic and having to buy school supplies not so useful means an extra expense, now I only hope there won´t have an enrollment fee”.
Claudia Marcela gave her opinion saying, “distance education, is much more than just internet, radio, and TV. Guidance for the mother and father will be fundamental. On my behalf as a mother I will buy school supplies, the children need material to work in their home”.
Mayra Durán, who besides being a mother is a teacher, put on perspective what the teachers are going through: “For this new school year the most useful tool for the teachers will be the parents, so if school supplies are asked for please buy them, since the children from home will have to use them, also since it´s going to be an autonomous learning, the use of specific materials will be needed for its preparation at home. Do not forget we will go back to the classrooms and the supplies have to get to the classrooms. It’s important to count with the necessary”.
“School supplies aren´t useless, are useful. The economy is hard, however do not forget that years ago the Education Secretary of Public Education took away the economic support for the schools, and we, the parents are the ones who maintain the schools to have them function appropriately. What I mention, is as a family parent and also as a teacher. Us, the teachers need your support. The work has multiplied, we have classes from 8 am to 10 pm or way after that hour, depending on the disposition of the parents on helping the fulfillment of their children´s activities, also us as techers we need to have our own work tools: internet, computer, teaching materials, etc, as long as our work is favorable to our students, we have searched and learned the necessary for the long distance teaching”.
Rosa Isela Tabares, parent, professor, and psychologists said the school supplies have to be bought but more than anything, “do the necessary for the kids to have a learning strategy”.
The commercial sector
As it seems, great part of the parents have decided to not purchase the school supplies, or at least not in the quantity they were accustomed, and in that sense Mauricio Holguin Herrera, president of the Canaco in Durango, said that it is already difficult to sell as before this kind of products, since before the back to school season came the sales decreased 30%, on relation to the last year. “It´s a tough blow to all the stationary supplies stores, and the ones that sell school uniforms and shoes are the ones that benefit the most in this time of the year”, commented the business leader.
Another sector that also foresees severe damages are the bookstores, and Jorge Ochoa Arámbula owner of the Librería Ochoa commented regarding this situation in the state, “the virtual education has depleted a lot, the conclusion is that we should get a bimodal education”, and pointing out the unfortunately that the books will be still produced, since “the federal government, like the teachers are the spine of the education, and with that we hope the book is considered as a primary and essential tool for the student´s education”.
In the education institutes case indeed there are complications, but also advantages in where some of them were offering virtual classes years ago, so this is not new, neither took them by surprise, commented Juan Manuel Rodríguez y Rodríguez, president of the Superior Education Federation of Durango (Fiesdur by their initials in Spanish), “before, many of the students ere in face to face education and now everyone of them are in virtual education and helps us a lot that we now know all the apps and everything that needs to, to have a good education system”.
It won´t be the same
Norma Rodríguez, director of Education of the municipality of Durango underlined that of course the Virtual modality “will never be the same, although the parents have the greatest spirit, we have to be very sensitive about what the education needs to develop the real learning in our children”.
In a large extent everything will depend on the parents, since well, the authorities are in charge of preparing the contents in the most appropriate manner for the apps where it will be shared, but they are the ones who will be vigilant of the real learning in the students. In spite of the complicated it can be, the director pointed out that in this moment the main thing is to preserve the citizens’ life, right now in Durango there are more than 5 thousand infected people of Covid-19, and of course a return to the classrooms implies an enormous risk, which is why if there is not a green light the virtual education will continue.
By Carlos Yescas Alvarado
Special Contributor/Enlace magazine