The Need for Inclusive Education

Last week we attended Mexicanos Primero’s “Tod@s” conference in Mexico City. Mexicanos Primero is a think tank based in Mexico which focuses on high quality education for all students around the country.

In Mexico, 42.6% of the population lives below the poverty line. There are more than 30 million students in school, however education isn’t the same for all students.  In fact, 6 out of 10 students don’t learn what they should; in indigenous areas, this increases to 8 out 10 students. According to PISA test scores, if you are born in a low income family, you are 4 times less likely to have access to quality education.

As we know, education is a basic human right. Nevertheless, the right to education goes further than just being able to attend school. The right to education involves a triple inclusion. According to Mexicanos Primero this triple inclusion means all students are in school, they learn what they want/need to in order to succeed, and they participate in high quality education.

Are schools in Mexico inclusive? First we have to understand what inclusive education is. This means all students are included, diversity is valued, teachers expect the best from their students, there is equity (equality means everyone is treated the same and doesn’t take into account students’ different abilities/needs), and everyone works together to improve education.

At the moment, no, Mexico’s educational system is not inclusive; students aren’t prepared for the different education levels they study, teachers sometimes don’t speak the language of the school they teach in, the curriculum does not adapt to the students’ needs,  and there is no support network for students.

Although Mexico’s current education system isn’t inclusive, school principals, teachers, students and families can work together to change this. Diversity isn’t the problem, it is something that should be embraced. The problem with the education system aren’t the students, it’s the way the system was designed so let’s work together and make it so students have the opportunity to stand out and reach their dreams!

You can read the full study here.

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