Thousands of Poor Children Return to School at Educational Disadvantage - Government Report
Laura Poy Solano - La Jornada
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August 24, 2015

Official Middle School No. 0794 in State of Mexico: "Niños Héroes" are six teenage military cadets who died defending Mexico City's Chapultepec Castle from invading U.S. forces, September 13, 1847, during Mexican-American War. (La Jornada)

On Monday [August 24, 2015], just over 25 million children and adolescents return to school for the 2015-2016 school year, which President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to inaugurate in Coyuca de Benitez, Guerrero. However, thousands of children will do so at a disadvantage, either because they work part-time or because the minimum conditions for improving their learning are not in place.

According to the report titled "2014 Educational Landscape in Mexico: Indicators of the National Education System" [El panorama educativo de México 2014: Indicadores del Sistema Educativo Nacional] prepared by the National Institute for Educational Evaluation (INEE), at least 5.5 percent of high school students attending middle school also work daily, up to more than 20 hours a week without pay; another 2.1 percent receive some compensation.

Added to this are the 33 percent of adolescents age 12-14 years who are not attending school because they work or perform household chores. In contrast, 94.9 percent of those who do not do any work are definitely in classrooms.

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