Schools in Mexico will not reopen for the new academic year later this month, and children will instead be homeschooled using television during the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s education secretary said Monday.
Secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragán said the government struck a deal with the country’s largest television networks to bring educational instruction to Mexico’s 30 million school children in the small screen.
“We wanted to return to in-person classes, but it is not possible, nor prudent,” Moctezuma said, adding that students will return to classrooms when the government evaluates the spread of COVID-19 presents less of a risk.
Mexico has reported 443,813 coronavirus infections and 48,012 deaths. Moctezuma said officials fear children could become coronavirus carriers, infecting relatives at home.
Throughout Latin America, nearly all schooling is being carried out online or through television as the pandemic continues to surge.
In Bolivia, the government announced Sunday it was ending the school year because it was impossible to guarantee free and universal education in a country where most rural areas lack access to the Internet.
Moctezuma said television was chosen because government data shows 94% of homes have one. Those without a television could listen to radio classes, and some 140 million free textbooks will be distributed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.