How to reduce poverty in Mexico?


The true transformation of Mexico will be the day that politicians and governments understand that the best path is that of education, research and development, points out Jorge Sánchez Tello.

Some years ago it was thought that countries that managed to have economic growth and development achieved it by accumulating only capital and labor. For countries to emerge from poor and middle-level development, it was recommended to invest in machinery, technology, and infrastructure because it would increase productivity.

But the world has changed a lot in the last 20 years, there are countries that have achieved important advances in their economy and development not only by investing in machinery, technology and infrastructure.

The countries that have succeeded in fighting poverty in the 21st century are those that have invested in knowledge. Technological changes have brought about changes in the way in which knowledge is incorporated into the economy.

The countries that have education and knowledge as their central axis encourage investment in human capital because it is what allows them to improve the skills of people so that they can perform better jobs and not only that, it allows them to acquire skills so that they can invent and innovate with the aim of creating new knowledge and ideas.

These new products and ideas become new services that improve the well-being of the population. Examples of the areas where the knowledge economy has managed to have an important impact are in robotics, telecommunications, aerospace industry, nanotechnology, computing, among others.

In Mexico, unfortunately, we have not made that change towards the knowledge economy, we continue to think that if we only invest in infrastructure we will be able to reach developed countries. We have been behind for many years in education and have a low level of investment in research and development.

Business models in some years will be linked to the knowledge economy, technological changes can attract changes in productivity and changes in job creation, impacting the value chains of the company.

For this reason, a true transformation in our country should be when we have governments that invest heavily to improve educational quality. Although it has been an abandoned sector for many years, in the XXI century, access to education in Mexico continues to be unequal and affects the most vulnerable groups, particularly in rural areas.

It is not just a question of investing in Mexico to improve school facilities because many of them do not have a bathroom, let alone internet access. It is necessary to offer in basic education to children, breakfast and quality food; millions of children are nutritionally deficient and they must first have something to eat so that they can assimilate the knowledge taught to them at school.

A large investment in education is needed because in Mexico only 4 out of 10 schools have a computer and internet; 3 out of 10 teachers do not have a higher education degree; 40% of teachers did not finish training programs; more than 35% of students have insufficient knowledge in reading and being able to communicate with others; At the mathematical level, we are in the last places in the world. The data continues, but what happens in the country in terms of educational quality is simply a tragedy.

Therefore, the true transformation of Mexico will be the day that politicians and governments understand that the best path is that of education, research and development. It does not give results from one year to the next if it is not with time and generational change, for that reason politicians ignore it because it does not give votes immediately.

Only a statesman knows that the future lies in having the best possible educational quality from childhood, only in this way can poverty be lowered in a country.

Editor’s note: Jorge Sánchez Tello is Director of the Applied Research Program of the Financial Studies Foundation – FUNDEF AC Independent Research Center based at ITAM on the Financial System. Follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter. The opinions in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.

Mexico Daily Post