President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed a bill to reform Mexico’s educational system, following through on one of the pledges he made in his Dec. 1 inaugural address.
“The foundation for transforming Mexico is education,” Peña Nieto said during the ceremony to unveil his plan on Monday.
The ceremony was attended by Cabinet members, legislators and the leaders of Mexico’s three largest political parties.
The reform plan, which requires changes to the constitution, calls for measures to objectively evaluate teachers’ performance and the creation of a professional teaching force without interference from unions or other groups.
The measures, according to education experts, are designed to take control of the hiring of teachers away from the powerful SNTE teachers union.
Teaching positions, in many cases, become lifetime or hereditary jobs.
The SNTE is led by Elba Esther Gordillo, considered Mexico’s most powerful woman, who has the backing of the New Alliance Party, or PANAL, which holds 10 seats in Congress.