Education International
Education International

SNTE mobilises its membership to improve education quality in Mexico

published 8 September 2015 updated 22 September 2015

More than fifteen hundred teachers took part in a colloquium on public education reform organized by Mexican teachers’ union SNTE in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon,on 4 and 5 September, with thousands following the discussions on line.

"We have always been on top of serving the needs of our country, and have taken on the challenge of transforming education, first to combat illiteracy, then to achieve access for all children, and today our challenge is to improve education quality”, said Maestro. Juan Díaz de la Torre, President of the Mexican education union SNTE.

The debates centered on teachers’ initial and in service training, the use of new technologies and other professional issues. Renowned national and international experts shared their views with the Mexican educators, including Fernando Reimers of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ángel Gurria, General Secretary of the OCDE, and Mark B. Ginsberg of the University of Maryland.

The newly appointed education minister of Mexico, Mr. Aurelio Nuño Mayer, assured the participants that reform plans would be developed in dialogue with the teaching profession and carried out in close cooperation with the education union. Standardised testing and high stake teachers’ evaluation, which are part of current reform measures, have been the subject of controversy between the profession and the public authorities.Union President Juan Díaz de la Torre said that while SNTE will respect the law, the reforms should not cause teachers to lose their jobs. “Nobody should be left behind”, he said, referring to the many programs SNTE has established to help their members improve their teaching practices.

Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, also present in Monterrey, stressed that teachers must regain control over their profession. He commended SNTE for creating opportunities for their members’ professional development. “Education unions must reinforce their role as the profession’s guardians. There is no contradiction between our trade union and professional aspirations. They are complementary. Learning conditions and working conditions are inextricably linked,” Van Leeuwen said.

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