Mexico Education Reform: Serious Setback

June 25, 2015

6/24/15 Latinvex

education - classroomGabriel Sánchez Zinny, president of Kuepa.com: While the Mexican government and the teachers’ unions keep fighting over proposed education reforms, students’ ability to find a good job and develop a competitive skillset to prosper in their careers is being irrevocably damaged. Students from Oaxaca, where some of the main union resistance is located, and other states, will finish only 80 days of classes, compared with more than the 180 days in other countries. In an increasingly automated, on-demand sharing economy, the competition for talent in the 21st century is global, and Mexican youth will be at a clear disadvantage with respect to the their peers in other countries. Teachers’ unions and political leaders should care. As Martin Ford states in his recent book, ‘The Rise of the Robots,’ ‘as more and more routine white-collar jobs fall to automation in countries throughout the world, it seems inevitable that competition will intensify to land one of the dwindling number of positions that remain beyond the reach of the machines.’ Today, more than 70 percent of jobs require some use of technology, the contract between employer and employee is broken, and learning to adapt and change is a critical skill for moving up in an increasingly mobile labor force. In this context, Mexico, where less than 15 percent of young people graduate from university, more than 50 percent drop out of high school, and the quality of education is low, the debate between the teachers unions’ and political leaders over halting education reform sounds flawed and outdated.

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Central American migrants escape Mexico kidnapping

June 22, 2015

06/22/15 BBC

OaxacaDozens of Central American migrants say they have managed to escape from a gang that abducted them in southern Mexico.They migrants told police they had been held for hours by armed men who stopped their bus, but later fought back and broke free from their captors. Kidnappings are common in Mexico with gangs often abducting migrants and forcing them to join their ranks.Tens of thousands of migrants travel through Mexico on their way to the US every year.Many are forcibly recruited into gangs. Others are held until their families pay for their release.

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Mexico Temporarily Cancels Teacher Testing in Oaxaca, Michoacan

June 22, 2015

06/22/15 Telesur

oaxacaThe Mexican Secretariat for Public Education (SEP) announced Sunday it has suspended the teacher evaluations in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacan, saying “the necessary conditions” were not in place for the process to go ahead. The decision follows a series of protests and boycott threats by the teacher’s of the CNTE union, which staunchly opposes the proposed evaluation process. Authorities said the evaluations were conducted as planned in other states of Mexico like Chiapas and Guerrero, where dissident teachers also advised they would attempt to disrupt the process.

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U.S. Issues “Emergency Message” For Americans As Protests Escalate In Mexico’s Oaxaca State

June 5, 2015

06/05/15 Forbes

oaxacaOn Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued an “Emergency Message” warning  U.S. citizens in the Mexican Southern State of Oaxaca to keep away from mass demonstrations and exercise caution in anticipation of Sunday’s volatile mid-term elections.

In a message to Americans living or visiting Oaxaca, a state known for its indigenous cultures and pre-Hispanic crafts, the U.S. Embassy warned that “mass demonstrations are currently taking place in Oaxaca” and that “protesters entered the Oaxaca airport” forcing suspension of  incoming and outgoing flights Wednesday.

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$100 Mn Allocated to Poor Municipalities in Southern Mexico

January 20, 2015

Fox News Latino, 1/19/2015

currency - coinsThe Mexican government allocated 1.5 billion pesos (about $102.5 million) to support marginal municipalities in the poor southern states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the Finance and Public Credit Secretariat announced Monday.

In all, some 508 municipalities will benefit under the plan, the deadline for requesting funds from which is March 15, the institution said in a communique.

The terms and requirements to gain access to the resources contained in the Infrastructure and Productivity Support Fund, or FAIP, will be published by the secretariat in the country’s Official Gazette in the coming days.

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The DIY Cell Phone Revolution in Mexico

January 16, 2015

By Dana Driskill, 1/15/2015

Innovation2San Juan Yaee, Oaxaca is a small town of 500 people in Mexico that, until very recently, did not have access to their own cell phone network, according to a recent article in Wired. Rhizomatica, a telecommunications non-profit based in Oaxaca, is looking to change that by installing a cell phone tower and a network. Yaee will be one of hopefully six more networks installed throughout Oaxaca by the end of the year.

Yaee and other communities pay 120,000 pesos ($8,000 dollars) upfront for the equipment and installation, about one-sixth of what Mexican commercial provider Movistar charges for a similar rural installation. Seventy five percent of the payment covers the cost of hardware, and the remaining portion is for Rhizomatica’s time and expenses. After installation, subscribers to the community network will pay 30 pesos (about $2) per month for local calls and texts. After paying for electricity and maintenance, the leftover profit is for the town.

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Mexico Nabs Suspects With 10,000 Sea Turtle Eggs

August 22, 2014

08/21/14 ABC News

hands in handcuffsEnvironmental prosecutors in Mexico say three suspects have been detained in the southern Pacific coast state of Oaxaca with more than 10,000 illegally harvested eggs from protected sea turtles.

The Attorney General for Environmental Protection says in a statement Thursday that police found two women and a man with 10,375 olive ridley turtle eggs during a passenger bus inspection in the town of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec.

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