Now we know why Mexico needed public education 'reformas'

Last year, President Pena-Nieto tackled the very powerful public teachers' union as the Mexican Congress passed reforms. 

It was a tough task, as any resident of Mexico City will tell you.  The teachers' union leaders blocked streets and created a first rate "commuting mess" in a city that already had serious traffic problems.

Yesterday, a "census" or review confirmed the wisdom of the "reforms":

"Mexican officials say the first census of the country’s education system found at least a third of public schools have infrastructure problems and there are thousands of school workers who can’t be identified.  

The census taken last year at public pre-schools, elementary and middle schools and made public Monday said 41 percent of Mexico’s 207,682 schools have no sewage system and 31 percent have no potable water.   

An education reform bill approved last year allowed the first survey of Mexico’s education system to be carried out. Until Monday, no one knew exactly how many schools, teachers or students exist in Mexico.  

The survey found there are 978,118 public school teachers.

Of those, 39,000 couldn’t be located.  

There are 21 million pre-school through middle school students in public school."

Wonder how many Mexicans were surprised to read this?  My guess is that it just confirms what many had suspected for years.

In Mexico, as in much of Latin America, the political class sends their kids to private schools.  Sadly, the public schools are "a dead end street" for most kids.  They are not getting the education to survive in a modern economy.

To be fair, there are dedicated public school teachers in Mexico.  Unfortunately, they work in an education system that is more concerned about the unions than the students.

The good news is that President Pena-Nieto got the reforms.  The bad news is that Mexico has a lot of work to do to have an education system to keep up with other emerging countries, like Chile or South Korea.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

If you experience technical problems, please write to