Mexico to revise teacher evaluations, crux of violent protests
MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government will undertake a revision of the evaluation exam given to all teachers, which has been a focal point of protracted, sometimes violent protests, officials said Wednesday.
The Associated Press reported Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño announced the agreement on the same day that government officials were to hold their first working group meeting with representatives of the teachers. He said officials together with the national teachers union will make changes that better recognize the country’s regional differences.
Mexico approved sweeping educational reforms in 2013, but the evaluation has been criticized by thousands of teachers who say it infringes on their labor rights. Those who do not take the exam lose their jobs. It aimed to ensure that teachers are hired based on qualifications rather than other criteria more influenced by the union.
The most radical element of the teachers’ union has been behind more than a month of highway blockades and other demonstrations especially in several southern states. Last month, a demonstration turned deadly when authorities moved to open a blockaded highway in Nochixtlan in Oaxaca.
At least eight people were killed in the clash and more than 100 wounded. The blockades have continued.
It was not immediately clear if that radical wing, the National Coordinator of Education Workers, accepted the agreement made by the larger umbrella union.