Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cué took a major stand on education today, shutting down the state’s educational institute and effectively marginalizing the power and control of the dissident teachers’ union, CNTE.
Flanked by Public Education Secretary Emilio Chuayffet and Eduardo Sánchez, official spokesman for the president’s office, Cué announced the dissolution of the Oaxaca State Institute of Public Education (IEEPO), putting an end to the union’s nearly 23 years of absolute control over education policy in Oaxaca.
The CNTE, short for the National Coordinator of Education Workers is a nationwide dissident faction of the larger National Syndicate of Education Workers, or SNTE. In Oaxaca, the CNTE local Section 22 has been in charge of naming IEEPO officials since 1992.
“Through this transcendental, lawful act, the government of Oaxaca will regain control over education in the state. A new autonomous and decentralized institute of education will be created to replace IEEPO after its dissolution, thus guaranteeing the full application of constitutional mandates on education,” Cué said.
“We are giving the children and youth of Oaxaca the opportunity to have the quality of education they deserve,” said Cué, adding that his government will have an open-door policy with all teachers while keeping education and students a top priority.
There will be no layoffs, he said, but instead a focus on professionalizing the teaching profession, “creating the proper conditions so that teachers can fully support and join the training and evaluation process.”
Chuayffet explained the transcendental change that education is undergoing in Oaxaca: “The new institute will have no tenured teachers or teachers’ representatives in administrative positions.”
The Education Secretary said Gov. Cué has the full support of the federal government and the Public Education Secretariat (SEP) in his decision to dissolve IEEPO, and will collaborate closely as the Oaxaca government takes over the state’s education.
“[Gov. Cué´s] reform lawfully frees teaching professionals, while being respectful of their individual and collective rights,” said Chuayffet.
He also observed that the education reform promoted by the federal administration seeks to provide quality education to all Mexicans, and address deficiencies.
For his part, presidential spokesman Eduardo Sánchez said Cué’s reform “puts the interests and rights of the Oaxacan students over anything else, and thoroughly respects the rights of the teaching professionals.”
“Oaxaca will now have a just and professional governing institution that will guarantee a quality education for the state’s students and fair conditions for teachers, allowing them to develop professionally according to their own merits,” he asserted.
Cué was clear on the new institute’s responsibilities with regard to teacher salaries: “If a teacher isn’t teaching, he or she won’t get paid.
“I have confidence that the teachers of Oaxaca will understand this transition. Oaxaca can’t afford to keep falling behind. Our main concern must be our boys and girls,” said the governor, who has faced strong criticism during his term for an apparent lack of will to address the state’s education issues.
The school year begins on August 14, and Cué was confident that teachers will attend to their responsibilities.
“Oaxaca cannot be held hostage by radical groups. There may be some that see this decision as an opportunity to hurt Oaxaca, and that will not be tolerated. Teachers must assume a serious and responsible attitude.”
Teachers’ union leader Rubén Núñez described Cue’s move as “treason” and vowed that the union would continue its resistance.
Source: Milenio (sp)