11.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Mexican government enacts educational reform

World Bank Photo Collection

The changes to the secondary laws comprising educational reform in Mexico will go into effect on Thursday 12 September after their publication on 11 September in the Official Journal of the Federation.

The reform, which has been supported by UNESCO, consists of three basic decrees: the decree modifying the General Law on Education and the two decrees issuing the Law of the National Institute for Educational Evaluation and the Professional Teaching Service Law.

The three decrees were enacted on Tuesday by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The new provisions award new teaching positions on the basis of official evaluations rather than automatically hiring graduates of teacher colleges, as has been the case. They also establish mandatory competency testing for teachers.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed the organisation’s support for the educational reform promoted by President Peña Nieto, who, she noted, “has placed education at the top of his agenda… (educational reform) is a powerful signal of commitment to transform education in Mexico and raise standards”, she stated.

The reform seeks to modernise the legal framework to achieve better and fairer education and consists of the following:

  1. Creates and strengthens the Professional Teaching Service, which recognises the training and achievements of teachers. Teachers will have opportunities for promotion based on their professional merits.
  2. Raises the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education to the constitutional level and gives it autonomy to measure performance and identify areas that need improvement. Evaluations will thus be used as a tool for progress in education.
  3. Fosters autonomy in school administration and promotes growth in the Full-time School Program.
  4. Creates the Educational Operation and Management System, which requires the INEGI (Spanish acronym for the National Institute of Statistics and Geography) to draw up immediately a registry of schools, teachers and students.

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