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This article addresses two problems in the field of education: the fact that the 360 elementary schools in Mexico City were overwhelmed by the number of children in need of education; and teachers submitted a petition to the City Hall of the capital requesting one million pesos in order to provide work for teachers who had finished their courses in 1930-31 but had not yet been able to find positions in the system after graduation.
In early 1932, the president, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, appointed Narciso Bassols (1897–1959) to head the SEP [Ministry of Public Education]. Bassols took office at a time of widespread dissatisfaction among city residents who had not yet received the social infrastructure that had been promised them by the revolution (schools, hospitals, social services, an so on). Bassols’ ideas on socialism and the possibilities of an educational system that could transform the country, which included an innovative approach to technical education that would revolutionize the economy, led to the creation of new schools. These schools, called "functional schools," were the government’s solution to their goal of a socialist elementary school system that was compulsory, free, coeducational, comprehensive, vital, scientific, de-fanaticizing, and capable of providing direction and work, as well as being Mexican up to the hilt. The plan was to be implemented in the capital, Mexico City. Since 1910, the capital city had been absorbing a steady influx of rural migrants. The majority of these new arrivals were illiterate and the school system could not keep up with the demand for basic schooling that would allow them to advance to higher levels of education. This was one of the most important challenges in terms of the progress and modernity being asked by both the newly created Mexican society and the post-revolutionary government.