Monday, June 24, 2024

Teachers in training reject English in favor of indigenous languages

The school year isn’t three days old and teachers in Oaxaca are going on strike again, this time to protest a requirement that teachers in training must now study English.

The Oaxaca local of the CNTE teachers’ union — whose annual protests have been going on for years — and students in the state’s 11 teacher training colleges say English should not take precedence over teaching native languages.

It claims the latest stage of the new education model prioritizes English and technology.

The federal Public Education Secretariat (SEP) has been implementing the new education model in a staggered manner. Now, for the first time, English is a requirement at the colleges.

“We demand the immediate cancellation of the imposed education reform,” students told a press conference in Oaxaca city, declaring they would put up a fight.

Student Nayeli Juárez told the newspaper El Imparcial that her college would lose its soul by bypassing indigenous languages in favor of English.

The students declared that they were not protesting for the sake of protest, but speaking out after analyzing the consequences of losing subjects such as history and the arts. Excluding them, they said, creates a chasm in the schools’ humanist focus.

As the students were protesting in Oaxaca, a group of Section 22 teachers traveled to Mexico City to take their rejection of the updated curriculum to officials there, where they hoped to meet with the nominee for education secretary in the new government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

They also intended to repeat their longstanding objection to the evaluation of teachers, another element of the reforms.

It is unclear how many Oaxaca teachers are participating in the strike and how many schools will be affected.

López Obrador repeated on Monday his intention to cancel those reforms and substitute them with a new proposal that takes into account the opinions of teachers and parents.

Source: El Imparcial (sp)

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