Saturday, 14 September 2013

Striking teachers - Mexico

Our Mexican colleagues have been a little active over reforms. I am just trying to imagine UK teachers (or any other group of workers these days) occupying say Trafalgar Square for three weeks and the trying to face down our noble riot Plod? Not that I would ever condone or encourage such action as that would doubtless raise eye-brows among those who have drawn the short straw and have to read such things.

Sure, it's a different political and educational culture and possibly to strike have not been so circumscribed as they have back home. To get teachers, the vanguard of the revolution, so angry that they have been pushed to take such action is at the very least interesting.

From The Guardian 15/09/2013

Initially the protests were aimed at pressuring the legislature into modifying a wide-ranging education reform that threatens teachers with dismissal if they fail evaluations aimed at improving the dismal standard of the country's state schools.
With the reform approved earlier this month, they began demanding that it be scrapped. They also demanded face-to-face negotiations with the nation's president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Most of the striking teachers come from Mexico's poverty-ridden southern states, and argue that the country's educational deficiencies are more closely tied to social inequity than their performance in the classroom.
They belong to the smaller of the country's two teachers' unions – the National Education Workers Co-ordinating Committee.
The larger union, much weakened after the arrest of its legendarily powerful leader Elba Esther Gordillo in February, has supported the reforms.
Having lost control of the Zócalo, the protesters began regrouping at the nearby Monument to the Revolution.
Organisers said teachers were not responsible for the earlier violence, blaming radical supporters of the movement who had joined the protest just before the police moved in.