Who controls education in Mexico?

The CNTE has created its own textbooks about Marx, communism and the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions

Who controls education in Mexico?
The CNTE is known for its blockades and demonstrations – Photo: Edwin Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL
English 06/08/2019 09:24 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:31
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For many years, groups of teachers have appropriated education in Mexico. Their leaders have prioritized the creation of political and economic power elites, instead of focusing on education and teaching.

Those who backed the 2013 education reform emphasized that one of the most relevant changes was that the government regained control of education. Nevertheless, the lack of consensus among teachers, as well as the focus on evaluation policies and sanctions prevented the reform from receiving total support.

For this reason, repealing the education reform, one of López Obrador's campaign promises, was one of the first actions implemented by López Obrador.

Some sectors are worried about education going back to how it was back in 2013 and the fears seem to be valid.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that in Oaxaca, the section 22 of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) has issued calls and is implementing competitions to grant tenures, placement changes, and promotions but established a few requirements, such as having participated in at least 80% of the protests, blockades, demonstrations, and “other activities” organized by the union.

On Saturday, EL UNIVERSAL also revealed that the section 18 of the CNTE, based in Michoacán, is planning to distribute its own textbooks in 6,000 schools: 28 titles for elementary schools and 20 for junior high schools. The topics include colonialism and the plundering of America, Karl Marx and communism, the Cuban revolution, the Nicaraguan revolution, and monopolies in television.

All these actions question who really controls education in some areas, especially in places with higher social backwardness levels.

After the changes made to article 3 of the Constitution, it will be essential that the secondary laws that will be discussed in September define the limits for unions. On the contrary, the backwardness in regards to education will deepen in Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Michoacán, and thousands of children won't have the possibility to change their context.


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