Twelve states have decided not to reopen schools until the 2021–2022 school year due to the ongoing coronavirus risk, federal Education Minister Delfina Gómez said Tuesday.
Schools across Mexico closed in March last year due to the pandemic but are now open in 15 states, Gómez told reporters at President López Obrador’s morning news conference.
However, the education minister said that authorities in Baja California Sur, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Yucatán have decided not to reopen schools until the new school year begins in August.
Schools in those states will continue to offer online learning during the remainder of the current academic year, which officially concludes on July 9.
According to federal government guidelines, schools can reopen once a state reaches the green light level on the stoplight map.
As of Monday, there are 19 green states in Mexico, a figure that includes seven states — Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro and Tlaxcala — that have decided not to reopen schools this academic year.
Although those green-light states won’t reopen schools for at least another two months, Gómez highlighted that more than 24,000 schools in 730 municipalities across Mexico are already open.
Among them are more than 1,000 schools in Mexico City that welcomed back students on Monday, the day the capital switched to green on the stoplight map.
All of Mexico’s teachers have been given the opportunity to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Alfonso Cepeda, head of the SNTE teachers union, said teachers will ensure that virus prevention measures are followed in schools and called for more of them to reopen.
“The time has come to gradually return to classes. The time has come to return to our schools to resume together the path of education, learning, harmonious coexistence and enhancement of our nation,” Cepeda said in a video message.
“… [But] we can’t drop our guard,” he also said. “The teachers will not only look after their health but will be attentive to the health of the students. We’re returning [to school] safely, voluntarily, with a green stoplight, with teachers vaccinated. Together we have to build … a V for victory in the education of Mexico.”
“The vaccination of teachers will provide tranquility to teaching staff, mothers and fathers and students. We’ll be the first to ensure that the [health] protocols are met,” he said.
With reports from Reforma (sp)