A San Luis Potosí girl still hasn’t started the new school year because the state Education Ministry hasn’t complied with a court order to supply her with a television so that she can watch televised classes.
With the help of a civil society organization, the girl’s mother won a court injunction that ordered the ministry to provide a television to 7-year-old Michel while in-person learning is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I must protect … your rights. … If anything should stop, it’s the infections of the disease called Covid-19, not your right to education. We have to order the authorities that are in charge of eduction … to provide you with a television so that you can watch your classes and continue learning,” a judge said in a version of her ruling that was simplified so that the young student could understand it.
The injunction also ordered a primary school in Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, a municipality that is part of the San Luis Potosí city metropolitan area, to enroll the girl in the second grade after it refused to do so because her mother couldn’t pay a 750-peso (US $35) fee.
Antonia Zavalija Segura told the newspaper El Universal that her daughter misses school and her friends and is bored at home because she is unable to watch virtual classes and do school work.
Michel’s mood improved once she found out that a judge had ordered authorities to supply the family with a television, she said.
But the San Luis Potosí Education Ministry still hasn’t complied with the injunction.
“She [Michel] … wants them to give her a TV because she feels anxious about not being able to read well and she says that she’s behind [in her school work],” Zavalija said.
As for the 750-peso enrollment fee, she explained she couldn’t pay because she was wasn’t working when the new school year started.
“I told them I didn’t have money because I didn’t have work at the time. … I’ve been separated from Michel’s father for many years and he doesn’t help us at all,” Zavalija said.
She explained that she now has a part time job as a domestic worker but only earns 600 (US $28) pesos a week and has to look after Michel and her two brothers. As a result, buying a television and paying the school fees is out of the question.
Michel is far from the only student in Mexico whose education has been compromised because of the shift to televised and online learning while schools remain closed due to the pandemic.
Many students from poor families, especially indigenous ones in remote rural areas, don’t have access to a television or can’t pick up the signal to the channels on which they are broadcast.
In addition, hundreds of thousands if not millions of students across Mexico don’t have access to a computer and/or the internet at home, making online study difficult if not outright impossible.
Source: El Universal (sp)