MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s public education secretary announced adjustments to a controversial teacher-evaluation process that has sparked protests by dissident educators.
While responding to a list of demands presented last week by the SNTE teachers union, Aurelio Nuño said here Wednesday that an agreement had been reached with that umbrella organization to ensure the process takes into account socio-cultural conditions in each region of the country.
He said he was open to improving the evaluations by taking teachers’ opinions into consideration, with a view to having a final proposal ready in 45 days.
The official acknowledged that the education overhaul had sparked doubts and uncertainty and pledged to work with the teachers and the National Institute for Educational Assessment and Evaluation to improve the implementation process.
He said the agreement strictly adhered to Mexico’s constitution and existing laws.
“There’s no agreement here to change the education reform in its legislative facet,” he said, adding that the idea was to make corrections and improve it permanently.
The militant CNTE teachers union, a dissident faction of the SNTE that is strongest in Mexico’s poor, heavily indigenous southern states, is demanding the overhaul be repealed and slams the evaluations for failing to take into account that schools in rural areas often lack electricity and even textbooks.
Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chang, Mexico’s No. 2 official, said Tuesday that the government and the CNTE had drawn up a roadmap for ending the conflict that includes setting up political, educational and social working groups.
That dialogue process was established after two months of protests and roadblocks that caused shortages of basic supplies in Oaxaca and Chiapas.
A June 19 clash in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, pitting security forces against striking teachers left eight dead and roughly 100 wounded, according to official figures.