Mexico to sack over 3,300 teachers

Mexico will fire more than 3,300 teachers who skipped evaluation test for controversial education reform program

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A boy walks past a Mexican soldier as he stands guard outside a school during a security operation following a teacher's strike in Acapulco, Mexico on November 17, 2015.

Authorities said on Monday that the federal government of Mexico is set to fire 3,300 teachers who skipped an evaluation test under a controversial education reform that has sparked protest in the country.

According to Education Minister Aurelio Nunoi, approximately 2 percent of the 153,000 teachers who did not take the test will be fired.

Nuno said that 15 percent failed the exam but that they will be trained to retake the exam.

"No child will be left without a teacher," he said.

48.5 percent achieved high marks that allowed them to apply for promotions and the rest of them either failed or got a "sufficient" grade that would require that they receive further training.

"There is a wide margin for improvements," Nuno said.

Teachers in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan have sometimes held violent protests against the reform, which President Enrique Pena Nieto has highlighted as one of the most important of his administration.

Thousands of teachers protested again in Oaxaca on Monday, blocking roads and breaking the gate of the state education department's office with a Pemex oil company truck in the state's capital.

Teachers insisted they be paid for work days they have missed while protesting. Police had to use tear gas to push back the teachers.

They also argued that the reform will destroy their labour rights and that they do not take into consideration the difficulties that teachers are faced with in poor regions of the country where students speak their native languages instead of Spanish.

TRTWorld and agencies