Category Archives: Education

Sonia Gamboa becomes first Mexico student at NASA

La Jornada – Sonia Gamboa, an engineering student at the Universidad Veracruzana, became the first Mexican student in developing scientific space research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a result of the linkage between that agency and the US Mexican Space Agency (AEM).

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2015/10/25/sonia-gamboa-primera-estudiante-mexicana-en-la-nasa-7941.html

Mexico fires 291 teachers, hinting at tougher line on reform

291 teachers or educational staff who failed to do submit to the review process are being dismissed.
291 teachers or educational staff who failed to do submit to the review process are being dismissed.

Reuters

Mexico’s government said it would dismiss 291 teachers who failed to comply with its education reform, hinting at a more confrontational approach to thousands of dissidents who have spent months resisting the landmark measure.

Education reform was the first of the major bills passed by President Enrique Pena Nieto after he took office in December 2012 in a bid to improve teaching standards in Latin America’s second largest economy, which experts blame for holding back growth.

Pena Nieto has described the reform as the one that would have the biggest impact on the country’s future.

However, the constitutional reform, which imposes more stringent rules on teachers and subjects them to evaluations, has been beset by problems, with violent demonstrations by militant teachers repeatedly sowing chaos in the southwest.

https://www.toledoblade.com/World/2015/10/15/Mexico-fires-291-teachers-hinting-at-tougher-line-on-reform.html

Officials wrench control of schools from Mexico unions

In this Aug. 24, 2015 photo, children line up during the first day of school in Oaxaca, Mexico. (Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez / AP)
In this Aug. 24, 2015 photo, children line up during the first day of school in Oaxaca, Mexico. (Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez / AP)

By Peter Orsi / Associated Press

It looked like a normal first day of school at Patria Libre elementary. Uniformed kids sporting brand-new backpacks with their favorite cartoon characters — Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, the “Frozen” heroines — reunited with classmates and sang the national anthem.

But that’s far from normal in Oaxaca, a Mexican state where teachers’ strikes and protests cost the average student 50 days out of the 200-day academic calendar last year, according to federal education officials.

“Every year there has been a strike. … I’ve seen my kids falling behind, and we’ve had to support them at home so they can learn,” said Claudia Rodriguez Sosa, a 33-year-old mother of three students from pre- to high school.

Some parents say teachers threatened not to pass their children if they didn’t support the union, whose demands ranged from higher pay to the resignation of a former governor.

Now that seems to be changing as a national education reform pushed by President Enrique Pena Nieto takes root in the last strongholds of resistance by teachers’ unions.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/officials-wrench-control-schools-mexico-unions-33527431

Mexico takes on militant school teachers in Oaxaca

Teachers from the group CNTE burned electoral material before June elections in the state of Oaxaca. (Patricia Castellanos/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Teachers from the group CNTE burned electoral material before June elections in the state of Oaxaca. (Patricia Castellanos/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

By Juan Montes / Wall Street Journal

Mexico’s government is gaining the upper hand against a militant teacher’s group in the southern state of Oaxaca, an opponent that has long proved just as hard to corral as billionaire scofflaws and powerful drug cartels.

In recent weeks, the federal and state governments, seeking to implement a signal overhaul of education, fired and replaced some 300 members of a powerful group of dissident teachers from their management positions at Oaxaca’s education agency. The group, the National Coordinator of Educational Workers or CNTE, has for decades controlled hiring in public education there and in some of Mexico’s other poorest states, including through practices like selling teacher posts and engaging in violent and disruptive protests.

On Wednesday, pressure against the group mounted when Mexico’s attorney general office confirmed that two judges have ordered the arrest of 15 CNTE teachers in Oaxaca on charges of trying to disrupt June mid-term parliamentary elections. Lawyers for the teachers say they will file for an injunction.

The moves are part of a push by the government to face down the dissident teachers, who have gone on strike almost every year since the late 1970s, often paralyzing sections of the country and leaving millions of children without classes.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mexico-takes-on-militant-teachers-in-oaxaca-1440026579

Teachers union raises stakes in its battle with Pena Nieto

Peña Nieto clearly hopes this will be the beginning of the end of months of damaging protests by a union whose defiance was making the government look ineffectual.
Peña Nieto clearly hopes this will be the beginning of the end of months of damaging protests by a union whose defiance was making the government look ineffectual.

By Jude Webber / Financial Times

It has been a tough 10 days for Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto. First the country’s top drug lord broke out of jail. Then the first auction of his flagship energy reform flopped.

And now, he faces a bruising battle with a dissident teachers’ union determined to sink his overhaul of the country’s ailing education system.

The CNTE rallied its members to stage strikes and protests in four states after Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cué on Tuesday ejected the union from its 22-year stranglehold on education in the southern state.

The move, co-ordinated with Peña Nieto’s government, was equivalent to throwing down the gauntlet to a union that has paralysed implementation of the education reform in Oaxaca and three other states. “They will not take what is ours,” Rubén Nuñez, a leader of the Oaxaca chapter of the union, vowed at a rally in the city’s main square as the union prepared to define its full response on Wednesday.

“This is a really important, even brave announcement,” said Marco Fernández, a professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and researcher at the México Evalúa and Wilson Center think-tanks. “Unavoidably there will be conflict in the coming days.”

Although investors have given more attention to the government’s energy reform, lifting education standards is considered vital to Mexico’s ambitions to boost productivity and vault into the advanced, high-income economy bracket.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/640d606e-3044-11e5-8873-775ba7c2ea3d.html#axzz3gdUR7MxD

After elections, Mexico to strike harder at disruptive teachers union

Since a teacher-testing plan passed, teachers have staged massive protests and canceled classes for weeks at a time.
Since a teacher-testing plan passed, teachers have staged massive protests and canceled classes for weeks at a time.

By Joshua Partlow / The Washington Post

They have seized public plazas and filled them with sprawling tent cities. They have burned government buildings and choked off a city’s gasoline supply. They have held marches and torched ballots and closed schools for weeks at a time.

Mexico’s rowdy public school teachers’ union — particularly the branch based in the southern state of Oaxaca — has long been a thorn in the government’s side, as it wages its battle against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s restructuring of the education system.

But now that last month’s midterm election has passed, and the teachers’ threats of an election boycott largely failed, Peña Nieto’s administration wants to strike harder at the union by sapping its funding and wresting control back into the hands of the state, according to Mexican officials.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/mexico-battles-disruptive-teachers-union/article_12c2ced2-eb26-5927-af94-2c66eb5f6dd4.html