Dissident teachers in southern Mexican states stayed away from classrooms Monday Aug. 22 at the start of the school year and planned more protests to press demands that the government repeal an overhaul of the public-education system.
Returning to schools across the country were around 25.7 million primary and secondary pupils, some 23 million of whom attend public schools taught by more than one million teachers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Leaders of the CNTE, a dissident faction of the national teachers union, said its members are maintaining their months-old strike in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán and parts of Mexico City.
The group, which is strongest in Oaxaca state, also planned further blockades and protest marches. The CNTE has around 80,000 members in Oaxaca and 150,000 nationwide.
For the past several months the CNTE and members of other protest groups have closed highways, blocked access to airports and shopping centers, and vandalized and looted stores, mostly in southern states.
A series of meetings since late June between CNTE leaders and interior ministry officials failed to end the protests as the group is demanding the revocation of the 2013 overhaul of education laws, a key part of which requires teachers to take performance tests.
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