The bullying looms in Mexican schools as one of the most visible obstacles to education. 20% of 15-year-old students acknowledge having suffered some kind of abuse several times a month: teasing or unpleasant rumors, shoves or blows.
And peer violence directly affects qualifications: those who suffer worse grades concludes a report prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Mexico is among the countries where bullying is most frequent. And their results in the PISA study have not lifted head for 15 years.
In the last PISA report, published in December 2016, the organization put a well-known topic on the table: the deficiencies in Mexican education. Mexican adolescents failed all exams: science, reading and mathematics.
And their rulers had no choice but to compare bad grades with others even worse: Mexico, still disapproved, scored better than Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil and Peru in mathematics. Something that happens with each report. It is the last educational comfort.
The figures of harassment show “fractured social relationships and the development of a form of relating that is harmful”, explains Gabriela Ramos, OECD’s director of the cabinet, on the report presented on Tuesday about the welfare of students.
It is not the first time that the body warns about this problem. In 2014 it placed Mexico as the country with the highest level of bullying, according to the International Survey on Teaching and Learning. The document added some testimonies from teachers and principals pointing to drug and alcohol consumption in schools, as well as vandalism and theft.
Among the other points where Mexico stands out negatively, is the scarce sense of belonging to the school. 25% of students feel marginalized in school (when the OECD average is 17%) and 21% feel alone (average of 15%).
However, the report presented on Tuesday emphasizes that if students had to put a note to their lives, they would get almost an outstanding: 8.3. This is the highest level among the OECD countries and the second among all the countries participating in PISA, after the Dominican Republic.
In addition, a level of motivation higher than the average is observed: 83% of the adolescents declared that they want to be the best, whatever they do and 96% are motivated to get the highest grades.
This motivation was also evident in the results of the last PISA report. Despite the poor grades in science, a large part of Mexican teenagers wanted to be scientists. At least 41% of respondents referred to this, the highest proportion of students with this expectation among the OECD countries.
Given that only 1% of them achieved an acceptable performance in science and 36% did not even obtain a minimum level, it was a response that surprised the report itself “These positive attitudes are weakly associated with the performance of students in mathematics. ”
Mexican students get more nervous than those from other countries. They suffer anxiety for the study superior to the average, 50% of them recognize to be very tense when they study and 79% worry about the bad qualifications. Being a doctor is the most popular professional aspiration among girls, while they prefer to be engineers.
The level of school segregation in Mexico is higher than the OECD average only 6% of children in working-class families can afford a private school. The document also includes that 74% of students from rich families expect to complete the university, compared to 43% of the most disadvantaged students.
Mexico invests $ 27,848 to educate each student from six to 15 years, according to the agency. This level of expenditure represents 31% of the OECD average. Mexico’s per capita GDP is $ 17,315 (2014 data), 44% of the agency’s average.
The report notes that what Mexico spends on education in relation to the country’s GDP is lower than in many other Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Peru. But higher than Uruguay.
The country allocates 5.2% of GDP to the public education system, according to an OECD study of 2015 that collects data from 2012. It is one of the countries that dedicate the most to this group of all those that make up the organization, ahead from Germany and Spain and very similar to France. But 80% is used to pay the payroll of teachers.