By Prensa Ayotzi
To understand what is happening in Ayotzinapa one needs to understand the Mexican Education System, which is not yet as privatized and standardized as the U.S. There are free schools and Universities, that claim autonomy from the Government, where the fees are very low or even sliding scale like at the ENAH, the Anthropology and History University, one can pay 50 cents to 5000 pesos a semester. Very different to the Student Loan capital that is the U.S.
The Normal Schools of Mexico were born from the Mexican Revolution. One of the demands of the farmer/workers was Free Popular Education. Later, came the creation of the FECSM, The Federation of Campesino Socialists Students of Mexico, which formed as a student body that protected the students from the injustices that are commited by the Directors and Teachers of Institutions like the SEP ( Secretary of Public Education). The Normal Schools are particularly to train students to become primary school teachers in rural ¨impoverished¨ areas. Most of the students themselves are from the farmer/worker class. A ¨Maestro¨ in Mexico is a teacher who is trained not only in primary education, but also receives a political and social formation through a socialist lens. So a ¨Maestro¨ is not just a simple teacher but a political position that is often against the State because of the repression of the people for interests of Capitalism. Below you will read the article written by the Ayotzinapa Students on the Education Reform that intends to disappear the Normal Schools.
Ayotzinapa cradle of social consciousness. To eradicate Normalista education is one of the main objectives of Peña Nieto’s government. The imposition of the Reform of the Normal School means completely tearing down the whole project of literacy and culture that arose after the armed struggle of the Mexican Revolution. Now it´s not about meeting the need for knowledge of the people, but following the measures and standards that the international agencies decree to perpetuate their power.
Since years ago, the decommissioning of “maestro” training schools has been brewing, through the encouragement of private institutions, and along with it, budget cuts and tuition at public colleges. This imposes competition and obvious inequalites with clear advantages for the private sector (subjugated in advance to what the rulers say).
The Normales will no longer provide teacher training to future maestros, but provide only simple “professional” abilities, lacking educational training support …
The Comprehensive Plan of Diagnostic, Redisign, and Strengthening of the Normal Schools covers four areas:
– Form “suitable” teachers.
“To guarantee the adequacy of knowledge and ability to new entrants to Teacher Professional Service …” stipulated in the reform. We know beforehand, that the students of normal schools are not “suitable” or rather, compatible with the educational system: its [the Normales] formation includes their historical role as a participant and organizer of social transformation through knowledge, and it is precisely what their efforts intend to eradicate and replace, forming a simple facilitator of basic information. Continue reading