Mexican gov’t agrees to alter education reforms

There’s only one catch.

The government is in talks with a teachers union, but it’s not the one currently on strike in much of Mexico’s South.

The ongoing action against the neoliberal “reforms” imposed by the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto is the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, or CNTE.

The CNTE represents teacher primarily in Southern Mexico and is fiercely independent of the government, unlike the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, or SNTE, which is considered a house union.

The story form teleSUR English:

Mexican Minister of Education Aurelio Nuño Mayer said Wednesday that he will revise the education reform that has been at the center of intense CNTE-led protests, but that he will only consult the rival SNTE union.

Nuño Mayer has drawn intense criticism for refusing to negotiate with the CNTE teachers, who have been leading months-long blockades across the country that were subject to intense police repression. The teachers, mostly based in rural southern states, argue that the neoliberal reforms put poorer and Indigenous students at a disadvantage. They have demanded meetings with the Education Ministry, but Nuño Mayer has insisted that they accept the reforms before coming to the table.

The SNTE union, which is largely aligned with President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, did meet with Nuño Mayer.

“Last week, I welcomed the proposals brought to me by SNTE, 11 propositions that brought us to various negotiating tables, intense, that would allow us to come to an important agreement regarding the education reform,” he said.

“We have agreed, and the SEP (Ministry of Public Education) has decided, to revise and improve the evaluation of teachers, to make it more appropriate and much more useful.”

The main purpose of the revisions will be to improve implementation of evaluations and make them more context-specific, focusing on its application, the platform for publishing findings, cleaning up databases, accreditation of evaluators, and communication between the school and the teacher. Nuño Mayer said he will also expand the curriculum and raise the teacher’s salary by 3.5 percent.


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