On Monday, August 20, about 11,700 students stepped into the classrooms of Chapala’s public schools to begin the 2018-2019 academic year.
Hundreds arrived without basic working tools due a delay in the distribution of of backpacks filled with school supplies that are provided free of charge by the state and municipal governments.
After operating without a hitch for the past several years, the local Mochiles con Utiles program faltered this time because the Chapala government hasn’t fulfilled its part of the bargain. Jalisco’s Ministry of Social Integration and Development (Sedis) delivered half of the backpacks for pre-school, primary and secondary pupils back in July. At press time, Chapala’s acquisitions commission still hadn’t met to designate a supplier and place its order.
Nonetheless, the municipality’s Social Development Director Diego Beltrán got things rolling this week, sending out loads of the materials already at hand to a number of schools. He is tapping on the supply of extra packets left over from last year to take up part of the slack until his superiors authorize the 2018 purchase and figure out how to rustle up around 1.2 million pesos to cover the bill.