Mar 12, 2012

Mexico Politics: "We need an Education Model that Teaches for Progress"

La Jornada- "During his presentation of the results of the Progressive Movement’s Public Education Meeting, the former president of UNAM, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, highlighted what is necessary to fundamentally transform the education system. He said it starts with a change in the teaching model to replace the rote and inertial techniques which have been utilized in the country for decades and adding teachers, removing the union mindset without affecting their labor rights.

'We need a new education model that teaches for progress, productivity, peace, tolerance, and coexistence; one that stimulates creativity, strength, discipline, and group work,' said De la Fuente, who confirmed that he had accepted Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s offer to be head of the Ministry of Education if the latter wins the presidency.

At a press conference after the meeting, asked if the change would cover the teachers’ union and if its application was even feasible with Elba Ester Gordillo as head of that organization, he said it would be “serious to personalize a problem as complicated as education to just one person.”

As to whether or not Gordillo could be convinced in subsequent meetings, De la Fuente said that the teacher union leader “has her own party” in which she will make her own proposals regarding education.

However, he said the new model requires teachers’ participation, who would be invited to participate, because without them “the background transformation that we want” could not be achieved.

De la Fuente explained that the education system was experiencing a 'critical, delicate situation,' and cautioned that if a better quality system was not constructed 'it’s not likely that these problems will be resolved.'” Spanish original

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