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Born and raised in Mexico, I spent the first 18 years of my life being educated in Mexican schools. I can't complain, my parents always tried to give me the best education possible getting me into the best schools they could find. I only went to private schools, so teachers were never really a problem for my education. I was being well educated in a good school; however, I always heard that public schools in Mexico never did as good as private schools. When I enter college in a different country, I realized how different teachers were in the United States, and I realized I never really knew how teachers were prepared in Mexico.
First of all, the levels of education are divided differently in Mexico. From first to sixth grade is elementary school, from seventh to ninth grade is middle school, and from tenth to twelfth grade is high school. The government has its own department to take care of educational matters. The department is called the Secretaría de Educación Pública, its name meaning department of public education. This department is the one in charge of trying to give access to every Mexican to have the education they deserve. So it organizes the whole educational structure in Mexico like school programs, economic aids, and the qualification of the teachers. Elementary schools and middle schools are coordinated by the SEP. High schools, on the other hand, are coordinated by a sub department of the SEP called Secretaría de Educación Media Superior, SEMS, meaning department of high school education.
This sub department, the SEMS, focuses on developing better educational programs for high schools. It is also in charge of organizing, leading, establishing, and evaluating the high school's services that the federal government offers to the people. Every year, the SEMS takes care of giving the high school teachers the proper preparation for their practices. The SEMS (n.d.) expresses in a published document called Competencias que Expresan el Perfil del Docente de la Educacion Media Superior a profile that they're trying to induce in high school teachers for a better result in students. The document states:
Today is not enough that the high school teachers focus their pedagogical actions in providing easier knowledge of the given subjects. It is necessary that the comprehension of the teachers transcend traditional techniques used in classrooms to adopt an approach focused on teaching in different environments. (p. 1)
Being Mexico a developing nation, it still has a long way to progress. Education in Mexico is barely finding its way, so the government is trying to find the better educational programs possible, and is trying to give teachers the right preparation to give students the best opportunities possible. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of poverty in Mexico, so a lot of kids are not able to afford a school. Without that money, the government is not able to find better educational programs, and isn't able to employ the necessary, and right teachers.
Today, the government is trying to offer a lot of help for low-income kids that want to get educated, but there are not enough teachers for so many students. According to the press release 15 de Mayo, Día del Maestro, "one million and 730 thousands of teachers educate 33.5 millions of students, and only fifteen percent of this teachers are of the high school level" (2008). As I researched a little more I realized how Mexico needs more teachers, and needs to prepare them better. The U.S. Department of Labor (2010) found that the United States have around three times more teachers than Mexico. Also, in the United States teachers are distributed according to the population, while in Mexico there are a lot of schools in need of teachers. The publication says:
Kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and secondary school teachers, held about 3.5 million jobs in 2008. Of the teachers in those jobs, about 179,500 were kindergarten teachers, 1.5 million were elementary school teachers, 659,500 were middle school teachers, and 1.1 million were secondary school teachers. Employment of teachers is geographically distributed much the same as the population. (2010)
The education in Mexico has been target of bad criticism. The fact that there are not enough teachers is a big issue for education in this developing country. It has been said that the requirements for being a teacher are not high enough. The brothers Reyes García, and collaborator Barriga Martínez (n.d.), talk about the deficiency of the preparation of teachers in their publication Especialidad en Docencia. They talk about how it has been absolutely invalid the way the government systematically form teachers. Teachers have been asked only to have a bachelor's degree in any field to be able to practice teaching, and they give teachers pedagogic courses to learn techniques of teaching, but these courses have been not effective. The publication discusses different methods to have a more effective education:
"High school teachers, before being hired, should dominate the subject to be taught. Also, they should have received lessons related to the discipline and the way to prepare a class, make presentations of any kind, design homeworks, elaborate tests, and having known the experience of people that has been teaching for a longer time. They also should take psychology courses to understand better the ways of learning of adolescents." (p. 2)
Even though teachers are not being prepared enough, the government and the people is trying to find the better way to prepare teachers and to get more people involved in the education area. Alcántara Santuario, and Zorrilla Alcalá (n.d.) made an investigation to give variable ways to improve education, specially to form better teachers for developing countries, specially Mexico. The investigation is called Globalización y Educación Media Superior en México: En Busca de Pertinencia Curricular and it says that "one of the objectives of this investigation is to detect alternatives that teachers consider, instead of reforms that were already implanted and didn't make improvements in the students' results" (p. 2). This is a perfect example of how Mexican government, teachers, and Mexicans are trying to find better ways to prepare teachers. Mexico is still a developing country, so the chances of improving its teaching methods are not lost.