Schools in Mexico will not reopen for the new school year later this month, and children will instead be homeschooled using television during the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s education secretary said on Monday.
Secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragán said the government has reached an agreement with the country’s largest television stations to provide educational education for 30 million Mexican schoolchildren on the small screen.
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“We wanted to go back to classes in person, but that’s neither possible nor safe,” Moctezuma said, adding that students will return to classrooms when the government assesses the spread of COVID-19 is less risky.
Mexico has reported 443,813 coronavirus infections and 48,012 deaths. Moctezuma said officials feared children could become carriers of the coronavirus, infecting loved ones at home.
Across Latin America, almost all education is provided online or on television as the pandemic continues to increase.
In Bolivia, the government announced on Sunday that it was ending the school year because it was impossible to guarantee free and universal education in a country where most rural areas do not have access to the Internet.
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Moctezuma said the television was chosen because government data shows 94% of households have one. Those without a television could listen to radio lessons and some 140 million free textbooks will be distributed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.