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1 of 4 students does not have access to distance education

The connectivity gap in the country is further opening the educational gap. According to UNESCO , in Mexico, 24.84 percent of students between 7 and 17 years old do not have internet access and 4.47 percent do not have television, so they cannot study remotely during the covid-19 contingency .

So far this school year, a third of the students from secondary school 157, located in Coyoacán, in Mexico City, do not have constant communication with the teachers, says its director, Juan Luis Luna. “There are students who do not have a cell phone or television, you would think that because it is a school in Coyoacán, this does not happen, but yes,” the manager emphasizes.

In the last decade, internet access more than doubled, going from 21.3 to 52.1 percent, but the number of households with television decreased from 92.6 in 2010 to 91.1 percent in 2020, according to the 2020 Population and Housing Census of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).

“A third of families have a computer, but sometimes it must be shared with several students or even with their parents,” claims María Elena Estavillo, president of Conectadas Mx, a women’s network that promotes equality in the telecommunications sectors and information technologies.

We recommend: IFT seeks to expand mobile telephony and internet in the country; approves tender Students with connectivity can access the Moodle platform and even have classes by videoconference, but for those who can only connect through recharges, WhatsApp has been a useful tool, through this means photographs are sent with the activities to be carried out in the textbooks, Luna explains.

For students without connectivity, “this medium is better because recharges include free WhatsApp,” says Claudia Cerón, an English teacher in secondary school 157. In your case, you must take care that the activities you assign do not include long videos or presentations with images because they consume a lot of data and it is a limitation.

Cerón affirms that there have been many infections and the drop in income in families has caused them not to have to pay for the internet or put recharges.

The educator Maygori Antonio Yáñez agrees, of her 27 preschool students in the municipality of Ixtapaluca, in the State of Mexico, “55 percent have had connectivity problems due to lack of devices or because their parents do not have the possibility of contracting internet, in In those cases we give them instructions by phone calls, but it is very complicated in preschool ”.

According to a 2020 survey by the Universidad Iberoamericana and UNESCO, in Mexico, 78.6 percent of people reported difficulties in continuing with the education of children and adolescents at home, for any of the following reasons: 48.5 percent due to lack of computer and internet and 31.4 percent due to lack of support from teachers.

AT&T has seen how the gaps in connectivity and access to digital tools have shown that not all students have the same opportunities to access education. That is why it allied with the Federal Education Authority in Mexico City and Fundación Televisa, to support basic education teachers in Mexico City to continue teaching distance classes and maintain communication with students and parents.

At this juncture “at AT&T we do not want the lack of connectivity to be one more layer of complexity for the teaching-learning process,” said Daniel Ríos, AT&T Mexico assistant vice president of external affairs in an interview with Milenio.

The company made a donation of 1,300 smartphones with connectivity for teachers to continue teaching thousands of students in Mexico City in the face of adverse conditions due to the covid-19 pandemic.

“The learning process is basically a process of connecting and reconnecting not only neurons, but internet connectivity,” Ríos highlights. For Estavillo, “the government has not done enough, although this is the responsibility of the whole society, we have to add private initiative, organized citizens to help families have a minimum infrastructure of devices and internet access” .

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