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Mexico: Burn after reading!

A document, which seriously risks jeopardising the Mexican educational reform, was leaked to the Mexican press earlier this month. The Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB) and representatives of Mexico’s two teachers’ trade unions – the National Education Workers’ Co-ordinator (CNTE) and the National Educational Workers Union (SNTE) – concluded an agreement with the objective of ‘addressing’ some of the issues behind the recently passed law on teacher service (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013). The agreement, however, partly contradicts the law on teacher service itself, and thus makes problematic the proper implementation of the announced educational reform of the country.

Signed on 5 November and ‘leaked’ just a few days later, the agreement reads almost like a farce in its contradictory content to the law on teacher service. Due to protests the original law proposal was watered down and one of the stipulations which foresaw the dismissal of teaching staff who would fail newly introduced evaluation was revoked. Instead, teaching staff would be transferred to administrative posts. The document between SEGOB and CNTE-SNTE, however, states that teachers cannot be dismissed and that they would retain their rights throughout their career as a teacher. Amongst other points, the widespread issue of absent teachers who still remain paid by the federal government is reduced to absurdity. Teaching staff will supposedly be granted a bonus payment if they work the whole amount of their contracted working hours and do not stay any longer absent from school. The agreement between SEGOB and CNTE-SNTE only applies to teaching staff already hired and does not touch upon the new requirements for aspiring teachers. University graduates will, luckily, have to pass an open competition as a prerequisite in order to ensure quality of teaching.

Mexicanos primero, a citizens’ initiative for an improved Mexican education system, published an open letter to the Secretariat of the Interior, demanding clarifications on this issue and stressing that steps like these are contrary to the law on teacher service, which is a cornerstone of Mexico’s educational reform. 

Animal político news - leaked document (in Spanish)

Mexicanos primero - open letter (in Spanish)