Education Secretary Nuño at yesterday's presentation of the new model. Education Secretary Nuño at yesterday's presentation of the new model.

After 58 years, a new educational model

Less content, comprehension over memorization and obligatory English among key points

Mexico’s 58-year-old educational system is going through an overhaul.

The country’s educational model, from preschool to preparatory school, has been updated, paring back the volume of content, favoring comprehension over memorization in language and mathematics and designating classes of English and social and emotional skills as obligatory.

The last time the federal government implemented a new educational model was in 1959 and although it has since been modified, the changes were not substantial.

The new one is a product of the educational reforms introduced by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2013, and will be implemented for the first time in the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

It was announced yesterday in Mexico City by Peña Nieto and Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño, who pointed to the need for an “educational revolution.”

One key modification to the education system is the granting of managerial and study plan autonomy to individual public schools, allowing for greater participation by parents in determining what subjects are to be taught.

Starting in 2018, the study plans of secondary schools will be created in accordance with those of preparatory schools, establishing a common curricular framework for the first time.

Textbooks will be rewritten by a group of experts starting next month, at which time teachers will begin a one-year training program to familiarize them with the new model and school autonomy scheme, explained Javier Treviño Cantú, an undersecretary in the Education Secretariat.

By the end of next year teachers are expected to be able to teach the basics of the English language, which will become a mandatory subject for all public education students.

The undersecretary said the new model will reduce the amount of information that students receive passively and instead help them “learn to learn.”

“We focus on key skills, like communication in [the student’s] mother tongue, Spanish and English; mathematical thinking and the exploration of the natural and social world, along with civic and ethical academic training.”

“This will be complemented with the development of social and emotional skills, and a strengthening of physical and artistic education,” continued Treviño.

The new model has had input from teachers, parents and representatives of business and private citizens, who contributed with over 300,000 observations.

Education authorities don’t expect to see any impact of the new model any time soon. Treviño said the first results will start to be measured in 10 years.

Mexico is dead last in educational standards as measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, yet spends more on education than any other member country.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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