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Mexico: Let us finally count our, two, three, four,…

... five, six, seven, eight.. 2  144 991. This is the number of teaching staff employed and working in Mexican preschools, primary schools and secondary schools. Commissioned by the Secretariat of Public Education and implemented by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI) a census was organised from 26 September until 13 December in order to determine numbers concerning Mexico’s educational system.

Previously, the Mexican government was not in possession of accurate figures, mainly due to the powerful role of the two teachers’ trade unions – the National Education Workers’ Co-ordinator (CNTE) and the National Educational Workers Union (SNTE). The results are only preliminary and most likely do not represent completely accurate figures due to resistance amongst teachers and trade union representatives in participating in the survey. Non-compliance was particularly high for the regions of Chiapas, Michoacán and Oaxaca for which INEGI elaborated estimations. Participation in the survey is a prerequisite for salaries from January 2015 onwards, as the Mexican government will base any further payments of teaching staff on the newly established figures.

The census is part of Mexico’s educational reform which foresees profound changes in fighting corruption and lack of transparency (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013 & November 2013). The two Mexican trade unions largely oppose the government’s educational reform and had refused to collaborate in disclosing any available figures. This had led to a bizarre situation in which teaching staff would receive federal payment without showing up for classes. Further definite figures are to be published in March 2014.

Secretariat of Public Education & INEGI (in Spanish)