Census Of Mexican Schools Finds Major Problems

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The first census of Mexico's educational system found that at least a third of public schools in the country have infrastructure problems. More troubling, there are thousands of school workers who cannot be identified. 

According to The Associated Press, the census revealed that 41 percent of Mexico's 207,682 schools have no sewage system and 31 percent have no potable water. 

Before this study, there were no firm figures about how many schools, teachers, or students exist in Mexico. The survey found that there are 978,118 public school teachers. Of those, 39,000 could not be located. The Wall Street Journal notes that these teachers routinely pick up their paychecks, but don't actually turn up to teach.

The practice of having friends or family on a government payroll is widely known in Mexico, where large unions yield considerable power. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mexicans reacted angrily to the news. "This is the robbery of the year, every year," said Claudio X. Gonzalez, president of Mexicanos Primero - a nonprofit organization that promotes education. Gonzalez said the census proves that the government's education budget is being directed away from students in order to benefit large teacher unions. 

Education Minister Emilio Chuayffet said the government will carry out a detailed school-by-school review to identify the 39,000 missing teachers. 

What do you think? Do these findings disturb you? 

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About this author1

Cristina Arreola, Editorial Assistant

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Cristina Mari Arreola earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to BrooklynNew York. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking...), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or baking her favorite sweets. You can follow her on Twitter at @c_arreola

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