Mexican President AMLO will present new reforms overturning Peña Nieto's neo-liberal reforms which were opposed by teachers.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) will present his education reforms Wednesday during his morning conference, while accompanied by Secretary of Public Education Esteban Moctezuma Barragan, and then send it to the legislative body to pass.
AMLO’s reforms repeal education policies enacted in 2013 by former President Peña Nieto enacted major educational reforms much to the dismay of the education sector. The reforms were set to weaken the teacher’s union, generate layoffs, and move towards the privatization of education.
His reforms also saw a centralized process of hiring, evaluating, promoting, and retaining teachers. National Union of Education Workers (CNTE) had had a say in hiring and retaining teachers in Mexico until Nieto’s reforms.
Over the years, the education sector witnessed more attacks by Nieto’s administration.
In 2016, the Education Ministry announced the evaluation of teachers which could have resulted in massive layoffs.
Teachers said the evaluations, which compared educator performance nationwide, were poorly designed and ignored teaching methods, curriculums, and different resources in rural areas.
Teachers not performing well enough on exams could be dismissed, which had led some of those opposed to the reform to say the government should invest more in educational training.
The tests imposed by Nieta's controversial reforms were prescribed by international organizations including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Teachers’ protests often ended in clashes with police. At one of these protests, nine people were killed in standoffs with police in the southern state of Oaxaca in 2016.
AMLO’s pre-election campaign promised the repeal of the education reforms by Nieto’s administration earning him support from the sector.
One of his ten campaign promises was to provide free education at all levels and to nullify Nieto’s reforms.
Keeping his promise, AMLO is set to announce his reforms today which will change the focus of teacher evaluations. Instead of imposing punitive measures from the the results of evaluations, it will look into a formative style of evaluation.
"With the understanding that the teaching profession does not oppose the evaluation when it is formative, that is, when it is accompanied by the relevant training and updating programs, we specify that there will be measurements and assessment of the professional performance that will be to improve the teaching," the initiative states,
The new reforms will support schools in vulnerable areas where food interventions will be implemented. Artistic and sports training will also be promoted under the new reforms.