A common question I get from families with school aged children exploring the reality of living in Mexico… is what about the schools? How does education work in Mexico? What kinds of schools are available in Los Cabos?
Schooling in Mexico is governed by the Secretariat of Public Education (Spanish:Secretaría de Educación Pública). Education standards are set by this Ministry at all levels except in “autonomous” universities chartered by the government (e.g., UNAM). Accreditation of non-public schools is achieved by a compulsory approval and registration with this institution.
The 1917 Constitution provides that training should avoid privileges of religion, and that one religion or its members may not be given preference in schooling over another. Religious instruction is prohibited in public schools; however, religious associations are totally free to maintain private schools, which get no public funds.
In Mexico, basic education is typically divided in three steps:
The terms “Primary School” or “Elementary School” usually corresponds to primaria, comprising grades 1-6, when the student’s age is 6 to 12 years old. It starts the basic obligatory schooling system.
In Spanish, the general term for “school” is escuela, but in Mexico, it is common to use escuela for state-owned schools, which are the majority, while the term colegio is kept for non-public schools, usually charging higher tuition fees.
The terms “Junior High School” or “Middle School” normally corresponds tosecundaria, comprising grades 7-9, when the student’s age is 12 to 15 years old. It is part of the basic compulsory education system; it follows primary school, and comes before proper “high school” (preparatoria).
At this level, far more specialized subjects may be taught similar to Physics and Chemistry, and World History.
The term “High School” (United States)) generally corresponds to preparatoria orbachillerato, comprising grades 10-12, when the student’s age is 15 to 18 years old. it must incorporate a national subject at least.
Preparatoria customarily consists of 3 years of schooling, divided into six semesters, with the first semesters having a typical curriculum, and the latter ones making it possible for some degree of specialization, either in physical sciences (electricity, chemistry, biology, and so on.) or social sciences (commerce, philosophy, law, etc.).
The term preparatoria is most frequently used for institutions which provide a three-year schooling program which “prepares” the student with common know-how to go on learning at a university. In contrast, the term bachillerato is most often used for institutions which provide vocational training, in two or three, so the graduate student can get a job as a skilled worker, for example, an assistant accountant, a bilingual secretary or an electronics technician. are to do what they went to school for and what they want to be like to be a teacher, secretary, or anything else.
Los Cabos has no shortage of schools each public and private. Rest assured, there are definitely great options when choosing education in the Los Cabos area. And, not every family has the same considerations or goals when determining what is best for their children – even children within the same family will have different considerations in choosing the right education path.
1. What are your requirements? Location, activities after school, sports, curriculum, hours, special needs, etc.
2. Do some research as to what is offered. Most schools have websites and Facebook pages — these are schools that made our list to explore initially:
- Collegio Papalotl Nursery – High School located in El Tezal Colony (624) 14 44311
- Baldor Kinder – High School located behind Home Depot (624) 10 43929
- Colegio El Camino Nursery – High School located in the El Pedregal Colony (624) 14 32100
- Colegio Amaranto Nursery – Primary (6th grade) located in the El Tezal Colony 624 14 58700
- Instituto Peninsular Jr. High & High School located in the El Tezal Colony (624) 10 43455
- Centro Escolar Picacho Preschool – High School located at KM 24.8 in the corridor (624) 14 45595
3. Plan a visit to the schools – and take the kids. Most schools will even allow children to attend a day to “shadow” so you can try it out and really have the children experience a day. Then make your decision.
It’s ok to change schools — we did at a bi-mester break as the school changed it’s program mid year and our kids needs changed. Be flexible!
Sometimes I am hard to catch. If you try me at the following places, you will have a much better chance of finding me:
Kristen Johnson, Realtor
435.659.8041 US & Canada cell 624 122 05 04 Mexico Cell