Monday, June 5

improve public school

Secretary of Government of the CDMX

The government of Mexico City carries out various programs to strengthen the basic public school in the capital. Among these are: My Scholarship to Start. Well-being for girls and boys, school uniforms, school supplies, protection against school accidents and the La Escuela es Nuestra program. Best School.

In these days of the beginning of the year, the application of the latter begins. The School is Ours. Better School is a school maintenance program with social participation. It has very positive edges. On the one hand, it makes it possible to maintain all public preschool, primary and secondary schools. But on the other hand, it calls for the participation of fathers and mothers of families in said process.

It is a social program for the material improvement of educational buildings, but it is also a program of social participation, of participatory democracy.

Through this instrument, all the communities of fathers and mothers of families, around four thousand, receive a public resource to maintain school buildings.

It is not the government that decides what work to do on campus. It is the community of fathers and mothers of the family that defines what modifications and improvements will be made.

These have a multiplicity of options. They can waterproof the roofs of the school buildings, change the furniture in the bathrooms, renovate the floors, paint the school, put in a new water pump, put up modern blackboards, change the furniture, and so on. In any case, fathers and mothers decide.

The assembly of fathers and mothers of families elect an Administration Committee, which receives the money, uses the resources and executes the works; and a Surveillance Committee that observes the good performance of the Administration Committee.

It is a program that improves the material conditions of study and thus makes it possible to raise the academic level of the students.

But it is also a program of participatory democracy. Democracy is not just going to the polls to elect representatives every three years. Democracy is also deciding daily on issues of social interest, it is intervening at any time in public affairs.

When fathers and mothers vote to decide what work they will be doing on campus, they are exercising democracy. When they elect committees that execute resources and ensure that they do so honestly, they are exercising democracy.

This type of experience moves the government downwards, towards the communities. Each Management Committee is like a small government. Just as the City government has a budget, each of the communities of fathers and mothers of families also has its own public budget.

The latter reveals, in turn, one more positive element of this program: the communities of fathers and mothers of families can plan the improvements of their schools in the long term. The resource they receive is not exceptional, it is not for one time. Year after year, since 2019, each of the almost four thousand public preschool, primary or secondary school communities receives its budget to carry out this improvement program. In 2022 they are receiving it these days. And by the way, increased. In 2021, the overall budget of the program for all City schools exceeded 232 million pesos. By 2022 it rose to 350 million.

All of the above indicates that around 10,000 exercises of this type have been carried out in the capital between 2019 and 2021. And the result has been the honest and effective administration of public resources by fathers and mothers of families. Participatory and grassroots democracy does work and it works well.