Children will not be forced back to in-person classes when the new academic year starts at the end of August, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday.
Parents will still have the option of continuing with distance learning for their children if they harbor reservations about sending them back to school, he said.
The Ministry of Public Education (SEP) has given the green light for full classes to begin for the 2021-2022 academic year, although with schools required to adhere to strict safety protocols.
Lopez Obrador noted that it is “very rare” for children or adolescents to die after becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and said he thinks the conditions will be propitious for reopening schools at the end of next month, since many more Mexicans will be vaccinated. Most teachers have already been fully vaccinated, he said.
The president said getting children back into classes was an “urgent” matter, not just from the academic point of view but also for their “emotional well being.”
“School is the best therapy for children,” he said.
The president said he will be holding weekly meetings with expert pediatricians to learn about the latest developments arising from the pandemic regarding children’s health.
Schools in Jalisco have reopened partially, with classes of up to nine students permitted at a time, for a maximum duration of 45 minutes.