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  • Indigenous communities in Mexico face barriers to education.

    Indigenous communities in Mexico face barriers to education. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 April 2017

Education experts want the Mexican state to work together with Indigenous communities to raise their education level.

Mexico must guarantee that Indigenous students can learn in Spanish and also their native tongues, recommended the National Institute for Education Evaluation, or INEE.

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The announcement comes after Secretary of Education Aurelio Nuno Mayer said he wanted to turn Mexico into a bilingual and even trilingual country.

Nuno Mayer said he wanted the country to take the "extraordinary and quantum leap" during the presentation of the new education model in Zacatecas. The Secretary of Education said he wants to face the reform with the reality of the communities.

Eight out of 10 Indigenous schools are rank at the lowest levels of language and communication skills as well as math, according to the Guidelines for Improving the Educational Attention of Indigenous Children and Adolescents, issued this year.

The INEE estimates that 17 out of 100 men who speak an Indigenous language don't know how to read or write, and the number increases dramatically for women, where it's one in three.

There are around 7.3 million children and teenagers from Indigenous communities in Mexico, and at least 20 percent of them don't attend school. At least 9.5 percent of schools in the country lack water, electricity, drainage or sanitation, according to the INEE.

The INEE published a statement calling the Ministry of Public Education to ensure that Indigenous people can fully exercise their right to be consulted on matters that affect their land and resources and to define the education they want to receive.

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