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  • A picture taken in the Senate of the Republic Thursday showing Senators approving the law that would provide free education to millions.

    A picture taken in the Senate of the Republic Thursday showing Senators approving the law that would provide free education to millions. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 May 2019

The constitutional reforms make free schooling available to all, and change teacher training programs and criteria.

The Mexican Senate Thursday passed a new education reform bill that guarantees free education from pre-school to university. It will now be sent to state legislatures for ratification before it becomes law.

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The reform modifies several articles on education in the Mexican Constitution. It was approved with 97 votes in favor, 22 against, and one abstention, the Senate reported in a statement.

The reform passed throught the Chamber of Deputies early Thursday and was immediately turned over to the Senate, which had already called for debate on the same day so it could be voted on.

In order for the education reform to become law, it must be ratified by half plus one of the 32 state legislatures of the Mexican Republic, that is, 17 local congresses.

The constitutional reform would replace the one that has been in force since 2013 by the government of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).

Repealing the previous educational reform had been one of current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s campaign promises, who often said that Peña Nieto’s law turned education in a business.

Among the most important features of the new reform makes the Mexican state responsible for providing a guaranteed free education at all levels including primary and higher education.

Likewise, it mandates that curricula teach different gender perspectives, teach respect for nature, and that it promotes the preservation of the historical heritage of Indigenous communities.

The reform also proposes increasing teacher training and development through a national system of continuous educational improvement to be coordinated by a decentralized and autonomous agency.

In addition, the general law of the professional teaching service and the law of the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education are repealed and suspend all evaluations suspended until Congress issues the Professional Teacher’s System Law.

The law makes it clear that programs of study will include the teaching of mathematics, reading, writing and sex education.

The new regulation also gives the president a deadline of no more than 180 days to define a national strategy to improve teacher training schools.

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