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Mexico says 5.2 million dropped out of school in pandemic

Virus Outbreak-Mexico-President
Posted at 2:33 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 17:33:57-04

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's president is on a drive to convince people to send their kids back to school in September, as the government released some frightening figures on what the effects of the pandemic have been on schoolchildren.

The Interior Department says a total of 5.2 million students did not register for classes last year, and that domestic violence increased 24% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period of 2020, before the pandemic gained force.

The department also cited increases in child homicides and teen pregnancies, rises which presumably resulted in part from kids not being at school. The broader effects of the pandemic — cancellation of activities, social distancing and economic pressures — may have also played a role.

Many parents in Mexico did not see much value in enrolling their kids in online classes, which have been the only option available in most states since schools closed.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says children need to be back in physical classrooms, for social development as much as academic reasons.