The News
Tuesday 16 of July 2024

ALDF Studies What Education Reform Means for Mexico City

Some members of the capital's legislative body hopes to guarantee the right to education in the city's constitution

Of the teachers who showed up for their required evaluation, 85 percent passed the test. The remaining 15 percent mostly belong to the dissident National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), who refused to be evaluated, despite which the mainstream teachers’ union (SNTE) has pledged to defend them from the educational authority and has offered them help to pass their evaluations.

This according to a document analyzed by committees of the Mexico City Congress (ALDF). Many of the teachers who were found to have failed their evaluations in fact faced difficulties with paperwork, with mailing documents and transportation to the evaluations.

Taking all of this into account, the number of teachers found to have passed the evaluations could grow to a little more than 90 percent. The SNTE is supporting the teachers with more than 500 continuing education classes to bring teachers’ knowledge up to date. Even the CNTE teachers gain support from the SNTE, the organization that is the official advocate for teachers’ work conditions for the federal government.

A passage of the document received by the deputies notes that a major goal of the evaluations is to punish and weaken the CNTE. The document accuses the CNTE of helping teachers get positions because of their political involvement rather than their qualifications.

Another important section discusses the tendency towards privatization of education in the country. The document highlights that the main obstacle to privatizing education is the SNTE, in which over 1.7 million education workers are organized. Another section refers to the decentralization of education, which will change once Mexico City ratifies its constitution and gains the privilege to control its own education system, a right which the other 31 federal entities have held since 1992.

A third issue recognized by the document is how the population of school aged children is shrinking to such an extent that it is too small to justify maintaining all of the positions held by teachers in primary education.

Language guaranteeing the right to education in the Constitution of Mexico City will not be enough to ensure that right — creating universal access to education would require the simultaneous implementation of public policies to lessen the socioeconomic inequality that plagues education systems in Mexico City and the metropolitan area.

For Juan Manuel Corchado Acevedo, the New Alliance party deputy in the ALDF, president of the Labor Committee, and former SNTE official, the “teacher problem” is closely connected to “the demographic situation of Mexico City. The age range of our population is starting to center on secondary and postsecondary education. We need to pay attention to that issue, because we will need to coordinate local authorities with federal authorities to be able to face the challenge that we have in secondary and postsecondary education. It can’t be done with only local measures; it needs to be done in a coordinated manner.”

He also stated that the education issue in the capital “doesn’t only has to do with the city; it also has to do with other entities. We aren’t just thinking about the population of Mexico City proper. Here, federalism is important. So, we aren’t really interested in decentralization of the educational policy, which is something a lot of people are talking about. Decentralization needs a lot of reflection, and I don’t think Mexico is ready, considering the educational reform that we are still suffering through on the national level.”

We could be the first federal entity to make early childhood education obligatory. There are countries in Europe that have this policy, and the numbers say that it leads to educational success.”

— Juan Manuel Corchado Acevedo, ALDF deputy