Early numbers show fewer than half of Mexico’s students returned to classes


Source: Mexico Daily News

Fewer than half of Mexico’s 25 million pre-school, primary school and middle school students returned to the classroom on Monday, according to preliminary data, but the federal education minister believes that the real number of returnees is much higher.

Schools across Mexico reopened on Monday 17 months after closing due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Education Minister Delfina Gómez said Tuesday that schools reopened in 30 states with the only exceptions being Sinaloa and Baja California Sur due to the lingering presence of Hurricane Nora.


In Pictures: Mexico’s Indigenous children struggle for education


Source: Al Jazeera

In the poverty-stricken mountains of southern Mexico, children can only dream of having the internet or television access that would allow them to join millions of others following distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Children across the country began a new school year last month with remote learning via television, a move aimed at curbing the spread of the disease in a country that has reported 73,000 COVID-19 deaths – the fourth-highest tally in the world.


She’s Taking Mexico’s Sex Trade to the Next Level: Legitimacy

people near indian flag
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

10/22/19 – OZY

By Deborah Bonello

La Merced, in downtown Mexico City, is one of the country’s biggest and oldest retail markets. And the world’s oldest profession also thrives there. To the sides of the labyrinth of passageways that run along the market stalls selling, well, everything, stand women of all ages and sizes. Many of them play with their phones as they wait for their clients, leaning against the shops behind them to take the weight off their high-heeled feet.

The street of Corregidora, in the heart of La Merced, is home to La Brigada Callejera, which means Street Brigade. A collective dedicated to fighting for the rights of the country’s sex workers, it was formed nearly 20 years ago by Elvira Madrid because some 3,500 of the city’s estimated 7,000 sex workers are based here. Flitting through a barred door and then through a dank, dark corridor and up a few flights of stairs leads one to La Brigada’s brightly painted office.

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In Mexico, AMLO seeks to expel merit from schools

5/17/2019 – The Economist

07-05-2019-FOTO-PORTADA--770x433.jpegHow quickly winds change. The school reforms signed in 2013 by Enrique Peña Nieto, then Mexico’s president, were to be the only popular legacy of an unpopular man. No longer. On May 8th the senate scrapped them. In mere months a reform deemed vital to reduce poverty lost many of its most ardent defenders. Even senators from Mr Peña’s cowed Institutional Revolutionary Party assented to the death of a law they recently favoured. So did the national teachers’ union, the STNE, despite having backed the reforms six years ago.

That is a testament to the power of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mr Peña’s populist successor, who has long opposed the reforms. It is also bad news for the millions of pupils who might have benefited, had the reforms been allowed to continue. The “new” education measures passed in their place represent a return to old ways.

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Bill to overturn education reform fails in Mexico’s Senate

5/2/2019 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — A measure to roll back part of a contentious education reform in Mexico is on hold after the country’s Senate rejected legislation previously passed in the lower house.

The bill represents a key campaign promise from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. His allies enjoy majorities in both bodies, but the measure failed late Tuesday after a number of senators from his party were not present.

The measure now goes back to the lower house.

The original reform was passed in 2013 under previous President Enrique Peña Nieto and was promoted as an attempt to modernize education in Mexico. It imposed exams and evaluations for teachers and stripped unions of their longtime influence over hiring, salaries and promotions of teachers.

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Mexico president sets aside education reform

4/17/2019 – The Washington Post

Marco Ugarte/Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered his Cabinet ministers Tuesday to ignore the education reforms put in place by the previous administration while congress tries to work out replacement legislation.

López Obrador sent a memorandum saying the reforms he promised to repeal upon taking office should no longer guide government actions. He said congress is trying to reach consensus with teacher unions and parents on new legislation.

His instructions also said the treasury ministry will control the teachers’ payroll.

The constitutional changes passed under President Enrique Peña Nieto aimed to modernize Mexico’s public schools and take control from the powerful teachers’ unions.

The overhaul called for examinations and evaluations for teachers, and it ended union control of hiring and promotions of teachers. It also sought to end the practice of teachers selling their posts to others.

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Mexican President Starts Process to Scrap Education Reforms

12/12/2018 – The New York Times

WhatsApp-Image-2018-12-12-at-08.12.38-1-2-1024x632.jpegBy the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signed an initiative Wednesday that would cancel the controversial education reforms of his predecessor and announced plans to vastly expand free university education.

Cancellation of the reform was one of Lopez Obrador’s most oft-repeated campaign promises and a gift to teachers’ unions, some of which felt forced into accepting the reforms while others never dropped their vocal opposition.

“Promise kept, teachers,” Lopez Obrador said.

The reforms would be replaced by a system that establishes above all else the right to an education. Lopez Obrador pledged a free, public, quality education through the university level for anyone who wants to study.

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50 Years After Student Massacre, Mexico Students Strike

9/5/2018 – The New York Times 

Mexican soldiers cut student's hair

Students at Mexico’s largest university went on strike Wednesday to protest a campus attack against protesters in which two students were seriously injured.

Students at Mexico’s National Autonomous University announced a march at the main campus in Mexico City to demand an end to violence by groups of thugs who are often registered but don’t attend classes.

Some of those thugs beat up protesters from a university-affiliated high school who were demonstrating Monday against fees and for free speech. The attack included the use of gasoline bombs, rocks, sticks and knives.

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A former power broker attempts a defiant comeback in Mexico

08/23/18 Los Angeles Times

Imelda Medina / Reuters

The most powerful woman in Mexico was known simply as “The Teacher.” She was a kingmaker, a confidant of presidents and a devotee of $5,000 Hermes purses, jaunts in private jets, plastic surgery and retreats to her luxurious villas in California.

Elba Esther Gordillo’s over-the-top lifestyle and political maneuverings as head of the nation’s largest teachers union eventually turned her into an icon of corruption and resulted in federal charges of corruption and money laundering.

Jailed in 2013, she spent five years in custody as the government sought to prove that she had illegally diverted union funds for personal use.

This month, a federal judge dismissed the charges, ruling that the union had approved her expenditures and that prosecutors had obtained bank account information without the necessary judicial order.

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Freed Mexico teachers’ union boss attacks education reforms

08/20/18 Reuters

Image result for Mexico teachers' union boss reutersREUTERS/Gustavo Graf

The former leader of Mexico’s influential teachers union made a combative comeback to public life on Monday after being let off corruption charges, by attacking the outgoing government in a speech and claiming its education reform had failed.

Long accused by critics of corruption, Elba Esther Gordillo was a powerful force in Mexican politics before her arrest in 2013, a day after President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into law a major education reform that she had opposed.

Earlier this month, a judge dismissed charges of money laundering and organized crime against Gordillo.

In a defiant speech to a hall packed with supporters, Gordillo described herself as the innocent victim of a political witch-hunt, and blasted Pena Nieto’s attempt to shake up the education system.

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