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Researcher: Less Than A Quarter Of Sonora Schools Prepared To Reopen Next Week

Schools in Mexico are set to begin in-person classes for the first time since the start of the pandemicnext week. But in neighboring Sonora, many schools aren’t ready.

About 75% of Sonoran schools are not adequately prepared to bring students back to the classroom on Monday, according to Alvaro Bracamonte Sierra, a researcher and member of Gov.-elect Alfonso Durazo’s transition team.

During a press conference Tuesday, he said of about 2,200 primary and secondary schools in the state, just 600 are ready to begin in-person classes.

His concerns come just days after a letter from Sonora’s Health Secretary Enrique Clausen warning education officials against “increasing mobility” by reopening schools. The state is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19, and Clausen emphasized that more children are now becoming sick with virus than during previous waves.

But Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated Wednesday that he is fully in support of reopening schools across the country, citing the benefits to childrenof being in the classroom.

But concerns over the readiness of schools to safely reopen have been widespread, including because many schools lacked maintenance or were vandalized during the pandemic.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.