Mexico News & Politics

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Politics
Issues &
Opinions
Business &
Finance
Health &
Evironment
Lifestyle &
Entertainment
Travel &
Outdoors
Science &
Technology

President Pena Nieto Proposes Sweeping Education Reform, Takes Union Head On

Associated Press
go to original
December 11, 2012
Share



Teachers union boss Elba Esther Gordillo of Mexico, shown in 2006 in Mexico City. (Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Pena Nieto is proposing sweeping reforms to the public education system widely seen as moribund, taking on an iron-fisted union leader who is considered the country’s most powerful woman and the main obstacle to change.

Flanked by the leaders of Mexico’s three major political parties, Pena Nieto said Monday that he would send the initiative to Congress to among other things create a professional system for hiring and promoting teachers and not the “discretionary criteria” used in the current system, where teaching positions are often bought or inherited.

“That discretion often has left by the wayside thousands of well-prepared teachers with the capacity to become supervisors,” said Emilio Chuayfett, Pena Nieto’s newly appointed secretary of education.

The plan, with multi-party support, moves much of the control of the public education system from the 1.5-million-member National Union of Education Workers to the federal government.

It was Pena Nieto’s first major proposal since taking office Dec. 1 and is widely seen as a blow to union president Elba Esther Gordillo, who has played the role of kingmaker with many Mexican politicians. She currently controls the income and promotion of teachers and has been accused of using union funds as her personal pocket book.

Gordillo, leader for 23 years and often called the union leader for life, was conspicuously absent from the public announcement and did not respond immediately to an Associated Press request for an interview.

The proposal requires constitutional reform, meaning it would have to be ratified by congress and Mexico’s 31 states.

If it passes, it would be “the most important institutional change in the education system since the union was formed in 1943,” said Javier Romero, education expert and researcher at the Autonomous Metropolitan University. It would give teachers educational incentives to do their jobs rather than political ones, he said.

The proposal would also establish a federal census of education data in a country where no one knows exactly how many schools, teachers or students exist in the public system. It would extend learning hours in some 40,000 public schools.

Pena Nieto and the three major parties released of Pact for Mexico last week in which another education goal is to improve the level of Mexican students who complete middle to 80 percent and the number who complete high school to 40 percent. High school only recently became mandatory in the country.

The president said the change is crucial to make Mexico competitive in the new global technological market.

Jesus Zambrano, head of the rival Democratic Revolutionary Party who signed onto to Pena Nieto’s accord, was widely quoted over the weekend saying it was designed to take power away from Gordillo, who is capable of delivering millions of votes and whose political support has been key to several presidents.

A pact she made with former President Felipe Calderon was considered the single factor that handed Calderon his 2006 victory in a very tight race.

Gordillo has beaten back years of attacks from union dissidents, political foes and journalists who have seen her as a symbol of Mexico’s corrupt, old-style politics. Rivals have accused her of corruption, misuse of union funds and even a murder, but prosecutors who investigated never brought a charge against her.

She was expelled from Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party in 2006 for supporting other parties’ candidates and the formation of her own New Alliance party.

Critics have accused her of amassing more than a dozen properties with millions of dollars. She has acknowledged some of the wealth, saying part was inherited.

Chuayfett said he would not interpret her absence from the announcement.

“What we’re clearly seeking, without specifying any certain people, is for the state to retake control of the education curriculum,” he told the AP.

  Check out Public Schools in Puerto Vallarta


We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

Meet the Charities

Community Services

Environmental

Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family

Education

Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood

 

Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


Resources

About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos


FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness