Contrasts in education, pandemic marks vulnerabilities in Yucatan


Social inequalities continue to be present in marginal areas for economic reasons

The city and municipalities of the state of Yucatán are different scenarios when it comes to education in pandemic times since it depends on social class and the access to resources that the family has to support the student. It is not a homogeneous panorama that is drawn on the horizon of the students of the state.

What the pandemic has done is exacerbate the inequalities that already existed in education. Inequalities that continue to be expressed in much lower learning processes in the case of indigenous populations and marginalized areas for economic reasons, said Juan Carlos Mijangos Noh, a Ph. D.: in Education.

“It is exacerbated because education is already deficient in regular terms, what the contingency has done is to increase this deficit. We are talking about populations that do not have access to a set of resources that the middle and upper classes take for granted ”, he explained.

PH. D. Mijangos lives in Canicab, a Mayan community in the Acanceh municipality where he coordinates a community center, which has allowed him to witness these differences first-hand. In Canicab there are 100 houses, of which 15 or 20 have internet access, and of quite poor quality.

“The level of interaction is extremely precarious and television broadcasts have the disadvantage of the absence of dialogue, “he stated.

“Before they had a human in front of them who somehow tried to put them in the context of knowledge. Now one cannot ask the television, and requires a sufficient internet connection to allow interaction with the figure of the teacher ”, he criticized.

“For example, a child who goes to a private school, who has a good internet connection at home and whose parents are professionals from any area of ​​the school world, has a cultural capital that allows them to interact, even under these conditions, with their teachers ”, he sentenced.

Recovery of knowledge

In the context of the current pandemic, Dr. Mijangos has noticed an interesting phenomenon that consists of the recovery of certain knowledge. For him, thinking about education beyond the classroom, the pandemic has triggered young people to rejoin tasks that were no longer part of their daily lives.

“As the parents do not have work and the boys and girls do not have a face-to-face school, they were taken to the land in the ejido that they had not worked for years, to plant a little corn, squash or beans and be able to survive,” he said. .

He added that within the policies relating to the rights of girls and boys, there are a number of difficulties, but the fact is that they are learning new things that the school does not value or teach.

In his community center, girls, boys, and adolescents have begun to look for things that they did not look for before, for example, agriculture, animal husbandry. The knowledge that even older people stopped knowing how to do.

“At some point, the school has lost its monopoly of being the source of knowledge par excellence. Even the internet, despite its aforementioned shortcomings, has become a learning space in the context of the pandemic, “he said.

Many have abdicated

In Canicab, where he lives, some young people have definitely dropped out of school. There are young people who were ready to go to high school, and since the internet was the only way to do it, and they did not have to pay for it, they abdicated the prices of laptops.

“If the family wants a boy to go to classes, they have to have several jobs or get into debt in such a way that it will take them a long time to recover. None of the teachers are from there. These are people who were not trained to enter these types of conditions, “she lamented.

For the researcher, it is not only about the lack of presence. “Even if everyone has computers, an excellent internet connection, the educational problem is there, because it is related to infrastructure.”

“We built a community center to lessen the impacts of the educational system, but we have not found ways to return to our normal activities. I believe that civil society is going to have to organize itself and find new forms of creative communication, ”he said.

Among the future plans in the Canicab community center, Mijangos Noh has planned a theater project, although its development will depend on Health conditions. Despite the efforts, the pandemic has obviously reduced the artistic and theatrical activity, and that’s when it gets interesting, when we see how families have regained educational ground by spending more real quality time with their daughters and sons.


The Yucatan Post