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Guerrero
<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Masked protestors armed with sticks and pipes, teaching the government a lesson.

This Is What You Get When You Mess With Mexico’s Teachers

Sweeping education reforms in Mexico are meeting fierce opposition. Scenes from a teachers’ strike, Guerrero-style.


<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

A teacher’s sign reads, “Federal Police Repressors, Community Police Defenders”. Masked, sometimes armed, and supported by vigilantes-turned-community-police, members of a Mexican teacher’s union occupy the commercial centres and malls in the state capital of Chilpancingo, in protest against national school reforms.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Teachers block the Carratera del Sol, the main highway between Mexico City and Acapulco.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

A federal police contingent confronts teachers protesting reforms proposed by the Mexican government, the ruling PRI party and President Enrique Peña Nieto.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Police are prepared with shield and helmets.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

The teachers’ strike turns violent.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Rural Mexican teachers are fighting against reforms that President Enrique Peña Nieto hopes will modernise the country.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

The teachers protest against proposed requirements such as teaching English, arguing that their students’ poverty demands other education priorities.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Guerrero teachers are joined by the Policia Communitaria in solidarity for their movement. At the state Congress in Chilpancingo, the groups present their new demands for reform under intense media scrutiny. In discussions with state officials, their demands fall on deaf ears.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

A thick blue line meets the protesters.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Although this school in Chilpancingo, Guerrero remains open, many rural schools in the state have been closed for more than six weeks since the protest began.

<p>Ross McDonnell</p>

Ross McDonnell

Pipes and sticks are brandished in the fight to arm children with the best education.

4 comments on this story
by Simon Lyall

Glossing over some of the facts a little aren't we?

1. The head of the Teachers Union is charged with embezzling $200 million

2. Some Teachers in Mexico sell or inherite their positions, like land

3. Mexico has a very low education rank, behind many poorer countries.

Some BBC articlesL
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21597680
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21582629

April 24, 2013 @ 5:55am
Show previous 1 comments
by Stephen Last

@Simon these are just glossy photos - the facts appear to be located in the documentary they link to: http://static.theglobalmail.org/feature/reading-rioting-revolution/597/

April 24, 2013 @ 12:03pm
by Gabrielle Austerberry

Even if the head of the union is corrupt, and some teachers sell or inherit their jobs, that does not take away the huge differences of teaching in poverty or in a city. Even in Australia, where 1 million at least live in poverty, teachers under Naplan are rated as worse teachers because the students don't do so well. While it is simply that the population is different.

In fact these are the better teachers who need to be a skilled practioner to get some results, but when you live in poverty research has well documented that on entry into the school system you have 1/3 of the language that middle class kids have, and that is just the beginning of the cycle. And that is Australia. Go to the schools in the poorest neighborhoods and you will get that what is needed is different than the 'normal' schools.
For the Mexican Teachers to be so up in arms, literally, it has to be a long held anger and frustration about deep seated causes and inequality. By all means prosecute the few that are corrupt, but don"t hand blanket statements to the masses. I would be interested to know what numbers we are talking about: how many teachers up in arms versus how many corrupt? Anyway, it would be hard not to take benefits when all around you is poverty. We here are arm chair judges. Crime and drugs also have its cause in poverty. For so many other groups to join, means that the frustration is wide spread and the cause is just. Let's hope it will be listened to.

I know where I would start with education reforms in Mexico: with small loans to real people and a laptop for all kids (the $ 100.- laptop) or Sugata Mitra who shows how kids teach themselves by having 1 computer in a hole in the wall of a village building (see Ted.com)

April 27, 2013 @ 9:33am
by udi

In Mexico; the government is corrupt, the police are corrupt, the judiciary is corrupt, every governments department and most professions are corrupt. I have no doubt that there is corruption in the school system too. From my experience though, nobody anywhere goes into teaching solely for the money. Many teachers in Mexico live on meagre wages and the claim that teachers are what is holding back the country are blatantly nonsense. If the Mexican government was doing anything more than posturing, they would try to claw back some of the money being drained from the country by the super rich and spend it on relieving poverty and bringing some justice to the people.

May 1, 2013 @ 1:55am
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