SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The arrival of Mexico’s new government has changed the country.
The transfer of power to the new administration went off almost flawlessly. While a few disturbances and acts of vandalism overshadowed the austere republican ceremony that is a deeply rooted Mexican custom, the authorities’ firm response to such acts of vandalism served to discredit the vandals and provide a warning to those who might consider future acts of delinquency.
The Mexican public welcomed this display of strict compliance with law and order. Upon taking office, the message conveyed by President Enrique Peña Nieto was hopeful. One of the thirteen points made in his address – education reform – was the subject of immediate follow-up action.
The plan for education reform is viewed as a recovery of the control over education policy by the Mexican federal government.Due to convenience and even fear, education policies have been set by powerful teachers’ unions.Without engaging in personal attacks, the new president indicated that the government must recover this vital function through broadly enacted reforms that will benefit Mexico and improve the quality of education by providing training and job security for more than a million Mexican teachers.
Such reform includes an amendment to the Third Article of the Mexican Constitution, which establishes the characteristics of mandatory public education from pre-school through high school for which all Mexicans are eligible.
Furthermore, the reform includes the creation of an autonomous entity for evaluating teachers.Such entity is designed to reinforce and encourage professional teaching careers in which talented and experienced teachers have the opportunity to improve, not only their salary, but also their technical skills to deliver the public education services that are currently so needed in Mexico.
The new government has gotten off on the right foot.Announcements on other far reaching reforms are expected to follow on matters such as social security, energy and tax.
Dr. Mario Melgar-Adalid is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI). He is a Law researcher at UNAM’s Institute of Juridical Research and currently an Of Counsel at Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton, L.L.P. in San Antonio. He writes a regular column for CCN’s monthly Mexico Report, which also appears in the Guardian. To view all previous versions of the CCN Mexico Report, go to: http://www.ccn-law.com//I>