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Education Profiles MEXICO


Country Facts

Education Overview

Elementary Education

Lower Secondary Education

Upper Secondary Education

Higher  Education

Grade-by-Grade Comparisons

Other   Resources

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Administration and Finance
Education in Mexico is offered by institutions under the jurisdiction of the federal, state and municipal government, as well as private institutions. Formal education, except for autonomous universities, is regulated by the Secretaría de Educación Pública SEP (Ministry of Education). Certain specialized schools are controlled by the ministries of defense, navy, agriculture and health.  In 1991, the Federal Government spent $9,792,140,685.2 on education. $1,997,898,827.6 was spent by state governments, $37,398,982.1 by local governments (municipalities) and $692,694,190.15 by the private sector.
The Mexican educational system has a total of 25 million students and 170,000 schools.  Primary education represents 56.2% of the total number of students. Secondary education represents over 30% of the system and higher education represents 4.5% with 1,200,000 students currently enrolled.
The education system of Mexico is organized as follows:
  • Preschool Education (Educación Preescolar)
  • Primary Education (Educación Primaria)
  • Lower-Seconary (Educación Secundaria)
  • Upper-Secondary Education (Educación Media Superior)
  • Higher Education (Educación Superior)
  • Private and Public Education
    Schools are classified depending on their source of financing as follows:
  • Federal schools
  • State schools
  • Municipal schools
  • Private schools
  • Private institutions with academic programmes must be accredited by the SEP. The SEP is responsible for designing the curriculum for all public and private primary schools.

    Academic Year
    The academic calendar for elementary and secondary education begins in September and ends on June 30th, with vacations in December and April. The academic calendar for institutions of higher education varies. Some universities offer year-long courses, although most institutions now employ a semester system. 
    Teacher Education
    Until 1984, elementary education teacher training was offered at upper-secondary teacher training institutions, escuelas normales. Currently, teachers for both elementary and secondary education, are trained at tertiary level institutions. These programmes are generally four years in length and lead to the award of licenciatura (licentiate).
    Grading Scale
    The grading system for most institutions at all levels of education is as follows:
    WES Equivalents
    9-10 90-100
    muy bien (MB)
    (very good)
    8 80-89
    bien (B)
    6-7 60-79
    suficiente (S) 
    (average sufficient)
    0-5 0-59
    reprobado (R)

    Source: World Education Services, International Grade Conversions

    Revised: May 06, 2004 .
    Copyright © 2001 World Education Services.
    All rights reserved.