All primary and middle school students in Mexico City can expect to receive a small scholarship in the next school year as the government extends a program that gives money to students with the highest grades.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the Gifted Children scholarship, which gave students with a grade point average of 9 or 10 a 330-peso scholarship (US $17), will be replaced by the My Beginning Scholarship program, which will give the same amount to all children enrolled in public education in the capital.
The mayor said the previous merit-based scholarship program had created class divisions between schools with differing levels of resources.
“Education is a right. We have been led to believe that education is a privilege, a product. In many countries they even give scholarships so that some children go to private rather than public schools . . . As far as I’m concerned, all of this city’s children are talented — it’s a lie that only a select few are.”
She reaffirmed that “public resources are sacred” and said the 1.7 billion-peso surplus the government recorded in the first quarter of the year will be invested in public education.
Tax revenues came in at 2.5% more than budgeted in the first three months of the year.
Sheinbaum added that the current school breakfast program will be continued and improved. In addition to milk, cookies and fruit, schools will serve hot breakfasts, which will represent significant financial relief for many families.
She added that the city government will also provide funding for school supplies and uniforms: 820 pesos for children in special education programs, 720 pesos for preschool students, 820 for elementary students and 900 pesos for middle school students.
Source: El Financiero (sp)