The dissident CNTE teachers’ union today rejected the official school calendar and announced its members would return to classes Friday, September 1 rather than next Monday.
The announcement came after a protest yesterday by teachers and normalistas (teachers in training) in the streets of Oaxaca, wreaking havoc for motorists for several hours.
The protesters hijacked buses and trucks and used them to mount several roadblocks just north of the city’s historic center to protest against what the union claims are broken agreements. The normalistas are protesting against compulsory evaluations prior to being hired, as they have done since education reforms brought in that particular change.
The roadblocks were strategically located on Niños Héroes avenue, which crosses the city roughly in an east-west direction and delimits downtown Oaxaca from residential and commercial areas to the north.
One of the blockades prevented buses from leaving the ADO bus terminal, stranding hundreds of passengers who were en route to Mexico City, Puebla, the Isthmus region or Veracruz, among other destinations.
Patients wishing to access public and private hospitals had to be transported on stretchers, wheelchairs and even on foot in order to reach the ambulances waiting for them on the other side of the roadblock.
The blockades were set up early in the afternoon and were not lifted until after midnight.
CNTE spokesman Wilbert Santiago Valdivieso said teachers were angry as a result of a “ploy” by Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa and the director of the State Institute for Public Education, Germán Cervantes Ayala.
Santiago asserted that Murat and Cervantes had “secretly” appointed 500 new teachers after they approved their performance evaluations, and that at the same time they had stopped paying the so-called regularized teachers.
According to Santiago, the state has neglected to comply with several agreements they had signed. Protests will continue “for as long as needed, regardless of any use of public force.”
State Interior Secretary Héctor Anuar Mafud Mafud said the public is growing tired of the teachers’ protests.
He said the CNTE has a commitment with parents and students to begin classes on schedule and warned that if they fail to start the school year on time parents and municipal authorities will expel them from both their communities and their schools.
Today the head of union local Section 22 said its 82,000 teachers will not begin the new school year on Monday. Should all the teachers comply, there will be no school for the state’s 1.3 million students.
Source: Milenio (sp)