International Teen Blogger: Teacher Reform

In the recent months in Mexico, there has been a teacher reform instated by the government. In the past, teachers unions have decided who is hired for different teaching positions. Enrique Pena Nieto, the current president of Mexico has been opting for teaching reforms that give the government the responsibility to decide which teachers to hire through standardized tests and also to decide who keeps their jobs through this same testing. The representatives of each state in Mexico met in the state of Guerrero met on April 23rd of 2013 to vote on the reforms. They were approved by a majority of 42 to 4. In the weeks following the announcement of the new reforms, riots broke out. The probably most serious act of protest includes a group of rebel “maestros” burning and looting three political buildings in the Guerrero state capital, Chilpancingo. The Committee of Educational Workers in Guerrero or (CETEG) and the Peoples Movement of Guerrero (MPG) organized a large march with over 1,500 teachers.

There are reasons to argue for and against the reforms. The government reasons that the current method used to hire teachers is corrupted. People pay large sums of money to obtain teaching positions. Through the teachers unions, you can get a guaranteed life position teaching at a school regardless of what you do. At times, auctions are held where the position is given to the highest bidder. The teachers argue that using the same standardized test for all teachers is unfair. The privileged teachers who grew up in big cities will get to keep their jobs, while the teachers in poorer parts of the country will lose their jobs everyday. A shortage of teachers in the poorer countries will be the cause of a collapse of the education system there.

This is a link to a video of the vandalism and riot that includes an attempt to burn down the offices of the local political authorities. These events were in April after the request to rewrite the teacher reform was denied.

The effects of this teaching reform will change the education system, whether it is for the better or worse. It might fix the corruption in the system or cause the system to fall apart all at once.

Despite the corrupted system of hiring teachers, the Mexican education system statistically rates high compared to other countries worldwide. The OECD in 2012 tallies that 99% of four year olds in Mexico are enrolled in school, placing Mexico 4th worldwide. The number of 5-14 year olds enrolled in school is 100% and places Mexico at #1 worldwide for that statistic. Mexico also spends 20.3% of all public expenditure on education, 8% higher than the worldwide average. The number of hours of instruction given to various grade levels is also dramatically higher than the worldwide average. All of those statistics being said, Mexico still has a lower graduation rate than the average worldwide.

To summarize with my own thoughts, Mexico’s education system has been successful in the enrollment of students, but those very students drop out or need to give up school to work and be financially helpful. The rarity of University and higher education could be the cause of the high cost of private education. Private education may be more expensive because the teachers are given some requirements to meet before they obtain a position. Despite the riots and argument of unfairness given by the teachers, the teacher reform will create some sort of standard for a teaching position that will bring in more qualified professionals to poorer countries and hopefully raise the graduation rate and years of education all across the country.


Ale, 15

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