Schools in Mexico
 



 

The standard of education in rural public schools in Mexico can be quite low, urban public schools are generally a little better. Private and international schools, however, usually offer a higher standard of education that is better-suited to the needs of expat families.

Mexico has numerous international schools in its major cities catering to a variety of nationalities. Due to the low standards and language barriers in public schools, most expats in Mexico choose to send their children to one of the many excellent international schools instead.

Some expats home-school their children, or send them to a Mexican school for half the day and home-school them in the afternoons. Immersion in a Mexican school for half the day can help expat children learn Spanish and assimilate better into local culture.

In Mexico, basic education is normally divided into three levels: primary school (ages six to 12), junior high school (ages 12 to 15) and high school (ages 15 to 18). Throughout all three levels of schooling, attendance is compulsory.

Public schools in Mexico are free of charge and secular. Unfortunately, the schools are often underfunded and lacking in resources. This is especially true in rural areas, with urban centres being only somewhat better.

Because of these disadvantages, public schools aren’t really a viable option for expat children. That said, expat children who are fluent in Spanish, or those young enough to pick the language up easily, may benefit from attending public school for half the day, followed by home-schooling in the afternoon.

Although there are many private schools in Mexico, they are mainly concentrated in the big cities. Most private schools offer a good standard of education, but there are some exceptions and it pays to be cautious.

When considering a private school, it’s best to ensure that it is accredited by the relevant authorities and visit the school to see its quality first-hand. Parents are advised to meet with teachers and check the curriculum to determine suitability.

For most expats, international schools are the ideal solution. These schools offer foreign curricula taught in English or the home language of the school’s country of origin. This not only makes for an easier transition academically, but also provides children with a sense of familiarity. However, parents should be aware that these schools tend to be expensive. Expats moving to Mexico for work may want keep this in mind when negotiating their relocation package.

Most international schools in Mexico are located in large cities, such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. British and American, as well as German, French and Japanese international schools are available in Mexico.

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