More than a thousand teachers affiliated to the radical CNTE union have taken to the streets of Mexico City on Tuesday, as their leaders hold talks with authorities to discuss the education reform that has led to two months of mass protests across the country.
The march kicked off at the national trainee teachers' college in the heart of Mexico City, with people holding banners against President Enrique Peña Nieto, who spearheaded the neoliberal reform in 2013.
The dialogue between the government and the striking teaches started last month, after the government came under heavy scrutiny due to state repression of CNTE-led demonstrations in the Oaxacan town of Nochixtlan on June 19, resulting in the deaths of 9 people in the town and 12 during the day as a whole.
Officials from the Ministry of Public Education will attend the talks, however it is not confirmed yet if Education Minister Aurelio Nuño will be present. The top official has been reticent to meet with the teachers and has stated several times that the reform will not be discussed, and will instead be “deepened.”
The CNTE leaders are also expected to deliver a document outlining the points of the reform that they are demanding be modified, including the controversial evaluation tests.
According to striking teachers, the evaluation tests do not effectively measure teaching skills, especially those needed in rural areas and among Indigenous communities, and are instead an excuse to engage in mass layoffs and the privatization of education. The tests were imposed by the controversial reforms and were prescribed by international organizations including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank.