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So, how much for a good grade?
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:
I think there is more smoke than fire.


Assuming there is more smoke than fire, why then do you think that there is such a common (at least from my experience) perception among Mexicans that happens all the time?
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 866
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the smoke is a sign of fire; that the assumption doesn’t hold. I think the perception is based on personal experience – I’ll bet there is hardly anyone who hasn’t experienced this personally or if not personally, then at least at first remove.

Throughout this discussion, I was thinking how different the prepa and university experience described in this thread was from that of my kids, who went to public schools. studied hard, and worked hard to earn their grades. Then I remembered the prepa teacher of one of my kids, who assigned each student a book (on the subject of the course) they had to buy for his personal library at the end of the year. If they didn’t give it to him, they didn’t get the final mark they had earned for the course. So in this case, it wasn’t grade inflation, it was payment for carrying out the process that should have been part of his job. Sad There were also a few teachers who had written a textbook for their course (none of which were very good), which the students had to buy because it contained material not central to the subject but essential for passing the course.
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

notamiss wrote:
I think the smoke is a sign of fire; that the assumption doesn’t hold. I think the perception is based on personal experience – I’ll bet there is hardly anyone who hasn’t experienced this personally or if not personally, then at least at first remove.


notamiss, my gut hunch is that you are right. Mexicans I know and ones that I interact with (e.g., doctors, cab drivers, etc.) all think the system is rotten to the core and I don't mean just the academic system. The Mexicans who have lived in the US (with all its problems) are the most cynical ones I've found when it comes to Mexico and think the game is rigged from top to bottom.

I am sure that there are public and private universities and K-12s that are on the up and up but more often than not the private ones (especially universities) I would imagine are corrupt in some way or cynicism would simply not be this prevalent.

I don't think teachers at my school take bribes but they don't have to. If a student has a pulse he or she is going to get a minimum a B+ and most likely an A- or better. That is complete corruption even if no money exchanges hands between teacher and student.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2058
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boomerexpat wrote:
notamiss wrote:
I think the smoke is a sign of fire; that the assumption doesn’t hold. I think the perception is based on personal experience – I’ll bet there is hardly anyone who hasn’t experienced this personally or if not personally, then at least at first remove.


notamiss, my gut hunch is that you are right. Mexicans I know and ones that I interact with (e.g., doctors, cab drivers, etc.) all think the system is rotten to the core and I don't mean just the academic system. The Mexicans who have lived in the US (with all its problems) are the most cynical ones I've found when it comes to Mexico and think the game is rigged from top to bottom.


In nearly a decade spent in Mexico, mostly in the Mex DF Metro area, I can say that corruption was the one theme that came up again and again and again, in conversations, to dealings with the police to govt. offices and on the job in schools.

I worked with a Mexican "English teacher", and I asked him once, if he knew how to get a commerical driver's license in Mexico, he said he could tell me the cost was $500 MXN pesos, because he paid that much to the "DMV" office (What's it called in Spanish?) and they just threw it on his license, no questions asked, except for the price, of course! Razz

There's an area near the Zocalo in the Centro Historico en el DF, and there you can get your run-of-the-mill fake diplomas, degree's, TEFL certs etc. But ask around and you can get a "legit" degree complete with transcripts from a Mexican uni, that even if you make an official request, will confirm it's a real degree... How is that possible you ask? They just have a contact in the registrar's office in the uni and they enter your details & data and make you up a brand new legit degree and papers, cause you just paid for it.

One Ss who was a lawyer at a private firm asked me if she should take a deal, from a "friend". He was offering her a perm. job in a govt. office, she just had to pay a cut of her salary for a fixed term and then she was set... So, she asked me for my advice, and I asked her, isn't the first rule of being a lawyer have something to do with ethics? And upholding the law? Now that was an interesting class...

I have paid off the blueboys with a mordida, aka a taco donation a few times, cause they seemed hungry, plus they had big guns and stuff plus a shiny badge for display.

Any talk of changing Mexico in anyway positive for the long-term means nothing unless it addresses the root causes of courruption which permeate every level and part of the culture and society. Idea
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1143
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have twice been offered bribes by a student in my 16 years as a public university teacher in Mexico. I believe that it has not happened more often because I do not teach a make-or-break subject for my students.

I also witnessed an extrotion scandal on the part of a teacher at a public university, the teacher made demands on the students to not fail them, regardless of the results of their exams. (Not an English teacher)
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
In nearly a decade spent in Mexico, mostly in the Mex DF Metro area, I can say that corruption was the one theme that came up again and again and again, in conversations, to dealings with the police to govt. offices and on the job in schools.

....

Any talk of changing Mexico in anyway positive for the long-term means nothing unless it addresses the root causes of courruption which permeate every level and part of the culture and society. Idea


The pervasive corruption in all aspects of society is probably why Mexicans, or at least the ones I speak with, are so quick to assume a charge of corruption is accurate even if it isn't. I can't blame them.

A lot of this seems normal for most developing countries where everything is for sell. While in the US the top jobs for the elite university graduates are on Wall Street (a con game in and of itself), in Pakistan the top jobs are supposedly being customs officials because of the fortune you can make on the side. In China everything was for sell. Pretty much the same thing in Thailand.

Maybe there are two differences in Mexico:
1. There are a lot of people here who have spent time in the US and have seen another way of doing things. That isn't to say that the US is a wonderland but it doesn't have some of the same problems.

2. I keep hearing that it is getting worse here, at least as far as education goes. For example, Mexicans tell me that 15/20 years ago students actually had to work for grades in private universities and were routinely flunked. Maybe that is just a case of the rose colored glasses we wear a lot in the US but, if true, it has to be frustrating feeling things are getting worse, not better.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 856

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot of these observations come from people who live/have lived in Mexico City, which is VERY different from the rest of the country. I live in a small town now and it is like night and day.
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:
I live in a small town now and it is like night and day.


How do you find a small town different?
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Dragonlady



Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 719
Location: Chillinfernow, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

boomerexpat wrote:
BadBeagleBad wrote:
I live in a small town now and it is like night and day.
How do you find a small town different?

Like she said, night and day ~ DF enjoys sunshine, rural Mexico only moonlight. Seriously boomer, you're like a dog with a bone... ¿Por qué? Writing a book, or looking for bites?
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dragonlady wrote:
boomerexpat wrote:
BadBeagleBad wrote:
I live in a small town now and it is like night and day.
How do you find a small town different?

Like she said, night and day ~ DF enjoys sunshine, rural Mexico only moonlight. Seriously boomer, you're like a dog with a bone... ¿Por qué? Writing a book, or looking for bites?


No, just curious. Surprising to see you have volunteered to be a moderator on the site. And, they don't even pay you for it?
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Dragonlady



Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 719
Location: Chillinfernow, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boomer you're right. I should MYOB.

I read more into your thread than you likely intended ~ that being students in Mexico for the most part weren't interested in learning as long as they could pay to pass. And well, that rather irked me given the thousands of American, Canadian and British university students found guilty of academic misconduct each year.

So, in answer to your question, in 3 years of teaching at a private Segundaria in Veracruz, I only knew of one teacher (maths) who demanded payment. I know the other teachers were aware of what he did and almost certain admin did as well, however the amount was low enough that students wouldn't necessarily have to involve parents.

His cost was 200 pesos for what he called a pre-exam tutorial class which even his top students had to 'register' for. Attendance wasn't mandatory (and no one attended). On average he had 30 kids a class, 3 classes a day (different levels), 2 'key' exams per semester. At 200 pesos a pop that would be about a 36,000 peso 'bonus' per semester.

He had another scam whereby a student got an automatic pass and didn't have to write the final school exam, but did have to write the state exam. My students tried to explain to me how it worked but I couldn't really grasp it.

A few jokers in my classes would come to me before an exam holding an open book with a 200 peso note laying inside... and a big grin on their face Smile

DL

I should add that his bonus was likely only part of his haul, as he, like most teachers, taught at more than one school.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 856

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boomerexpat wrote:
BadBeagleBad wrote:
I live in a small town now and it is like night and day.


How do you find a small town different?


People are far more honest, straightforward and open. There is no mentality of corruption, people expect to do a days work for a days pay, and are not always holding their hand out for a "tip" for doing their job. Some examples that come to mind - stores letting you pay later if you don't have the correct change and they don't have enough change, delivery people refusing to accept a tip when offered (many occasions, and many kinds of delivery - furniture, food, groceries, water, pet supplies). Because we have 5 dogs our vet makes house calls and doesn't charge anything extra (just the normal office visit and shots or whatever), vet also let us pay later once when he didn't have change, when you buy fruit and veggies you get the full weight and an extra thrown in. I bought some plants the other day and the seller threw in TWO free, then spent 15 minutes giving me planting advice - just those kinds of things that just make life a bit more pleasant. I have had, on 4 or 5 occasions, people run after me to give me my change, since I either forgot, or they hadn't given me my full change. Related to education, two family members are teachers - one at the secundaria level, one at HS level and the both not only regularly fail students, but students are also expelled for behavior problems. There is no bribing the electric company to putting a diablo on your box, you don't pay you don't like electricity. And no connecting your electric directly to the power lines either. So many things that people just take for granted in DF as the way things are, are just not a reality here. People here consider people from DF (and to a lesser extent Guadalajara) to be dishonest. In some ways it is kind of subtle, you have to live here for a while to see it in some ways, though some are obvious right away. Oh, and I can jump in any taxi and just tell them to take me home and they know where I mean.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1882
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last one sounds good. In D.F., you can tell them the exact street and they still don't know where to go!
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:
There is no mentality of corruption, people expect to do a days work for a days pay
You have a good pitch for small town Mexican life. In a smaller town do you find they are more likely to become friends with gringos? I'm in a mid-sized town and Mexicans only hang with family and childhood friends. Even gringo spouses aren't fully brought into the fold or at least that is what I've been told by them.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 856

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a "pitch" just my observations. Not sure how foreigners are treated, as far as I know there aren't any here. There are lots of American born children of Mexicans, some of whom don't really speak Spanish, and I think they are treated differently, at least in schools, but not in their own families. There is also a Mennonite colony one town over, so people are used to seeing blondes or lighter people. I have heard that foreign spouses are not fully accepted and I know a few cases of people who feel that way, but in some cases I think it is less a case of not being accepted as people being curious and asking lots of questions about where they are from, and that is converted into lack of acceptance. I am half Mexican/half Irish and lived in the US for many years, though I have lived more of my life in Mexico than in the US, and I never felt that in spaces I have lived long term, though in Mexico City - especially in touristy areas - I would sometimes have people think I was a tourist, but living for many years in the same neighborhood in DF, I never felt I was treated any differently by people who knew me well. As for here, people in the north of Mexico tend to be taller and a light lighter, so I am not a standout in anyway, I am asked sometimes where I am from - as in what part of Mexico - not what country as the accent from DF is pretty different from the sing-songy kind of accent here.
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