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Beyond the education reform
A school made of metal sheets and straw in Oaxaca, Mexico - Photo: Ivan Stephens/EL UNIVERSAL

Beyond the education reform

13/12/2018
09:28
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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Former President Enrique Peña Nieto promoted an education reform that had the purpose to redefine the way in which public education was imparted

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Mexico's education system has two unsolved issues: guaranteeing the access to education to everyone and that education is of quality. The precariousness a large part of public schools suffer is known; Mexican students have to study within this atmosphere and where the teachers have to carry out their duties while facing several difficulties.

In the light of this scenario, the now former President Enrique Peña Nieto promoted an education reform that had the purpose to redefine the way in which public education was imparted. It intended to establish a new paradigm, but the complications in its design and implementation created a generally negative perception of it. Within that scheme, the need to evaluate the teachers became the main argument but the quality of education was postponed.

Back when the education reform was approved, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who then was the opposition leader in the country, repeatedly spoke out against the initiative. As a candidate, he promised to cancel it and, if he won the presidency, he announced he would propose a counter-reform in Congress.

Nevertheless, the issue of education in Mexico transcends the education reform. The lack of access to education is linked to the insufficient offering and the complexity to operate such a large educational system. Something is failing in the root if it's known that the older a person is, the harder it will be for them to have access to education.

On the other hand, the lack of educational quality is the responsibility of the Mexican governments that have delegated this labor to unions, whose main interest isn't proper learning. Our country is training students that, when they have the opportunity to study, don't develop the minimum qualifications demanded by the international context.

The educational model in Mexico should consider the key elements in the formation of an individual: the students and its immediate environment, school, as well as the figure of the teacher. Similarly, it is crucial to incorporate elements that allow developing the necessary qualifications in the student in the face of a complex and changing environment like the current one.

These are the challenges for education in Mexico, which will be faced by President López Obrador. The improvement of education in Mexico and anywhere in the world is a medium and long-term process, therefore, any new project should include this view. It's not about constantly reinventing the education model, but patiently implementing a plan that shapes free and responsible citizens.

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