• The future of Mexico’s children is not negotiable; they have the right to education, which is enshrined in and guaranteed by our Constitution, he said.
  • He recognized Mexico’s teachers, who assume the task of teaching and educating Mexican children with enormous vocation.
  • He led the ceremony to mark the start of the 2016-2017 school year at the Professor Eudoxia Calderón Gómez Elementary School. where he attended the sixth year of elementary education.

As he led the ceremony to mark the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, President Enrique Peña Nieto said today that the government has opened up spaces for dialogue to meet different demands and listen to the various suggestions that both the National Union of Education Workers and the National Coordination Office of Education Workers have put forward regarding Education Reform.

He stressed that these spaces for dialogue, “Cannot be conditioned, subject to or manipulated by depriving children of the education to which they are entitled and which is enshrined in and guaranteed by our Constitution."

He noted: "There will be no further dialogue if we do not first guarantee that children can receive education in classrooms that are now closed; there will be no dialogue unless we can guarantee that children can receive education in Mexico.”

Education first, and then dialogue will be the premise of the government’s behavior,” he said.

And it will be so, he said, "Because the future of Mexico’s children is not negotiable and cannot be negotiated.” Today government, teachers, teachers and society as a whole are called and committed to give elements and tools to the children of our country so that they can really meet the challenges of the 21 century, he said.

The president said that, “The government will always be willing to talk and meet various demands. The only thing that is not subject to any negotiation is what Education Reform provides for.”.

He added that the reform is very clear: “It’s central objective is to ensure quality in education; it wants to assure the children and youth of our country a much more promising future, a future of opportunity. And that is what we can not deprive them of. We cannot make the children and youth of our country hostages to any cause or any demand. That is behind the repeated request: teachers who are in opposition, return to school”.

"It is the duty of those who are teachers, who have chosen to take on this social responsibility and this vocation of service as teachers to concern themselves with providing education," he reiterated.

He invited, “Those who oppose this structural change, beyond the efforts and dialogue that is being opened, to teach and commit to this obligation to provide education for the children and youth of our country”.  

At the Professor Eudoxia Calderón Gómez School, where he attended sixth grade, the president recognized all the teachers of Mexico who bet on the children of our country, are fully aware of how important it is to ensure quality education for the children and adolescents of Mexico:  I would like to thank Mexico’s teachers, who assume the task of teaching and educating Mexican children with enormous vocation”.

"And I also recognize the parents, who are part of this education process."

The president said that, “What the education system is seeking, through Education Reform, is for the children of our country to have higher quality education, to continue educating in the values they have but in addition, to place special emphasis is put on the skills that will be demanded of children in Mexico.

That, he told the students, “Will give you greater self-confidence, you will be on the same level as people from any other country and elsewhere in the world.”

He said that today other countries have made efforts to improve their education and Mexico cannot be left behind. "Mexico has to ensure that when those who are now children grow up and are part of or central actors in the development of the country, are properly trained, can speak another language, can speak English, and can be trained in the skills of the new technologies that are changing every day".

That's the reason why we must focus on ensuring that there is education quality, and that teachers will pass on the knowledge that will be critical for children tomorrow,” he added.

President Peña Nieto explained that Education Reform has three specific main objectives:

First: "Have better trained, better prepared teachers, who will undergo a process of more training so that can instill in children the necessary tools that the 21 century is going to require, which the competition at that time will demand of them”.

Second: Have better schools, higher quality schools, schools with adequate infrastructure to be consistent in ensuring quality education.

Third: Review educational content, educational content. Ensure that what is taught, “Is up to the requirements and demands of a global world and a Mexico immersed in this 21 century”.

President Peña Nieto said that, "It is a task and an obligation of the state to provide compulsory, free, secular education.” Addressing teachers, parents and students, he said: "Don’t let anyone surprise or deceive you: public education will remain free as will the school supplies you receive; you will continue to receive them free of charge throughout the country”.

The president explained that today, 25.7 million children studying preschool, elementary and middle school are going back to classes. “Almost 26 million children, which is much more than the population of many large countries in the world. That is the size of our country’s education system.”

He said that, “There are more than one million teachers who today, with great responsibility and great social vocation, are returning and accompanying this effort to give the children and youth of our country an education". He added that more than 225 thousand schools. Yet another figure to give some idea of the scope of the national education system.”

The president expressed the great excitement he felt on returning to the school where he completed the last year of primary school. Here where we are, in this courtyard, was where I began the 6th year of elementary school on a day like today, nearly 40 years ago. I am very excited to be here and to be able to begin this school year throughout Mexico.

In the event, President Peña Nieto gave free books to the students at the school, unveiled the inaugural plaque of the school year, and signed the Distinguished Visitors’ Book.

FOR MEXICO, THE GREATEST POWER OF TRANSFORMATION IS EDUCATION: AURELIO NUÑO

Aurelio Nuño Mayer, Secretary of Public Education, said that the greatest power of transformation for Mexico is education, adding that today the possibility exists that very few generations have had: the ability to make one of the most profound transformations of what we most want as a nation: the education system.

“And that is why,” he added, “we will continue working to achieve the transformation demanded by 21 century Mexico”.

This, he said, “is to ensure that these children have the tools to be able to compete with anyone, anywhere and anyhow. They must have the tools to have a prosperous life so that they can be freer and together build the successful nation Mexico should be and deserves to be in the XXI century through quality education”.

He said that, “This is what the education reform you are leading, Mr. President, is intended to achieve, and which we are working tirelessly to achieve, by having better schools, better teachers, better teaching, better plans and programs”.

He felt that today is a critical day because it marks the start of a further step in the transformation of Mexico, at the start of the 2016-2017 School Year.

He thanked the teachers of Mexico, “who have taught us that being a teacher is not just having a job; teaching is an absolute life vocation”.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF TEACHERS HAVE GIVEN  A SIGN OF THEIR COMMITMENT TO MEXICAN CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH: SNTE

 Juan Diaz de la Torre, Secretary General of the National Union of Education Workers, said that at the beginning of the 2016-2017 School Year, “The vast majority of teachers have shown their commitment to Mexican children and youth since early today”.

He said that, “This is precisely the best way to earn the appreciation, respect and support of society; not by affecting thousands of children, or defending personal or group interests. It is in the classroom, working and innovating as teachers that we show the ethical commitment to Mexico and the construction of a better future for the coming generations.”

He noted that, “This is our new time of great technological change and the knowledge era," noting that in it, “Education is a key tool for the training of 21st century Mexicans”.

He said the beginning of the school year is an act that is rooted in the operation of the Public Education System and is the endorsement of the confidence of Mexican families in their schools, their teachers, and the National Educational System, to provide millions of students with a quality education with equity.

He explained that a new educational model is underway and being constructed. ”It is the path of transformation that we in the SNTE, the National Union of Education Workers, have proposed to firmly support. We are conducting it in a critical but constructive way,” he said.

  • THE GOVERNMENT IS USING EDUCATION TO TRANSFORM THIS GREAT COUNTRY THAT IS MEXICO: ERUVIEL ÁVILA VILLEGAS

Governor of the State of Mexico Eruviel Ávila recalled that Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon for transforming the world.

He noted that the government is using this powerful weapon to transform this great country of Mexico and that we are already seeing concrete results.

 “It's very important to do," he said, “because according to UNESCO studies, if we manage to ensure that all children have equal access to education, per capita income would rise by 23 percent over the next 40 years.

“If all women completed primary education, young married couples, infant mortality, could decline by 25 percent, and maternal mortality could decrease by up to 66 percent, according to UNESCO”.

Governor Eruviel Avila hailed the fact that President Peña Nieto is prioritizing education.

“A GOOD TEACHER IS CRUCIAL TO IMPROVING EDUCATION RESULTS”: ARACELI REYNA ORTEGA

Professor Araceli Reyna Ortega referred to the Professional Teaching Service evaluation. She said that insofar as teachers are aware of the importance of good training, “The path to be taken by the student and the teacher will be more productive and simpler”.

“I had the great opportunity to be evaluated. I frankly did not see it as a burden but as an area of opportunity to improve my profession and recognize my weaknesses, but also my strengths,” she said.

She noted that the determination of the Federal Government, “To have teachers with an excellent grasp of their professional field is a wise effort that also benefits and enhances teachers` great task”.

The teacher at the Professor Eudoxia Calderón Gómez Elementary School, from which the president graduated, said that. “A good teacher is crucial to improving educational outcomes" and to "training and preparing future citizens for life. They will know how to respond in every area of their lives and not only their families, but also undoubtedly benefit our beloved country because Mexicans are distinguished by being brave, intelligent, dedicated and hardworking people”.