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Students returned to classrooms across Mexico today. Students returned to classrooms across Mexico today.

More than 25 million students are back in classes

But the incomplete educational reform has some teachers beginning the school year with doubts

More than 25.4 million students and 1.2 million teachers returned to school today, starting classes under an educational reform called the “New Mexican School.”

This school year will be the first complete scholastic cycle of President López Obrador’s “Fourth Transformation” plan to eradicate corruption and impunity.

The Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) stated that the country’s students will be at the center of public educational policy.

The department added that with the integration of the new secondary education laws, teachers will have a new professional system that will provide them with job security and justice in the workplace.

Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragán said the president aims to create a quality, inclusive public education system that gives attention to those who need it most.

“[The education secretary] invites students and teachers to work together with the SEP to begin the construction of the New Mexican School and highlights that the best in education is yet to come,” the secretariat said.

The SEP said it distributed 176 million free textbooks, fulfilling its promise that no student will go without the materials needed to succeed.

One major change in López Obrador’s educational reform was the elimination of the evaluation system put into place during the term of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto.

“The matter of evaluation, which was what worried us most, is clear to us now,” said Arturo Pioquinto, a teacher at Rafael Solana primary school in Iztapalapa. “It is no longer an issue tied to the work environment, and this separation is a big relief.”

Still, much of the reform depends on the passage of the plan’s secondary laws, which will be voted on in September. This has caused many educators to begin the school year with uncertainty.

“There’s lots of uncertainty about many things,” said Édgar Gallego, principal at Rafael Solana. “As teachers, it is our job and responsibility to provide society with the certainty that we know how to do our jobs in the classroom.”

The Chamber of Deputies has until September 12 to vote on the secondary laws.

Sources: Milenio (sp)

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