• They are the result of what we have today in the educational model and of your commitment. Teachers deserve all our recognition, encouragement, support and backing, he said.
  • He led the prize-giving ceremony for outstanding students in the Children's Knowledge Olympiad 2016.

Addressing the one thousand most outstanding sixth grade students across the country, President Enrique Peña Nieto said today that they reflect the education and training they have received from the teachers in our country.

They are the fruit of what teachers have achieved and sown for Mexico, he said, echoing the words of Ricardo Preciado, an outstanding student who, together with two other students, scored 73 out of 80 in the Children's Knowledge Olympiad 2016.

“As you said, Ricardo, you are the result of what we have today in our educational model.  You are the result of the commitment of Mexico’s teachers, who give their best for the children of our country and they deserve our recognition, encouragement, support and backing, to remain part of the most relevant and important  aspect of a country: the education of the children and youth of our country,” he said.

 “You are the present in the attention your deserve, but you are the promise of tomorrow because you will have the great opportunity and responsibility of ensuring that Mexico continues to grow, so that Mexico remains a great nation and can build promising horizons for society, of opportunity and fulfillment,” he said.

On the Francisco I. Madero Esplanade of the official residence of Los Pinos, the president said that teachers in the country, “With great social vocation, a vocation of life devoted to educating and providing fruits for this country are undoubtedly the central pillar of Mexico’s Education System”.

He said: “Thank you, teachers, for being part of this great effort, for giving the best of yourselves for the benefit of these generations and Mexican children and youth. Congratulations to all the teachers in Mexico”.

He said that, “Today we have a large number of committed teachers, who are part of the national education system, who prepare and train our young people to have tools for their fulfillment tomorrow, but above all, to be part of this collectivity, this great Mexican society in their efforts and in their everyday work today and tomorrow, so that they can provide the best for Mexico’s development”.

He said that, “If we wish to continue having a large country that grows and has a promising horizon and future for its society, we must build it. He said that, “We are entering more demanding stages around the world, because today’s technologies, the changes that the world is experiencing, lead us to raise or have the need to raise the quality of education”.

The president said that, “We accomplished what did not exist 100 years ago, or a little less than 100 years ago in Mexico:  a nationwide education system. Today we have schools, broad coverage through the schools that you attended and which the vast majority of Mexicans attend”.

He added that, “After having covered the need for this comprehensive coverage, we have now promoted an Education Reform that focuses mainly on three aspects”:

First. Ensuring that our teachers are better prepared, better equipped and better trained to give the children and youth of Mexico a better education. That is why a means of accompanying them during this training process has been designed”.

He explained that the assessment test is designed to identify teachers’ strengths and weaknesses. He said that those who think that failure to pass the exam will lead to dismissal are wrong. The model, he said, is designed to provide several opportunities for teachers to train if they do not pass their first assessment.

He said there are three chances to pass the exam, in addition to accompaniment during their training. If a person fails to pass on all three occasions, “What Education Reform proposes is not to fire teachers but to give them an administrative or other role because they simply did not manage to accredit these skills and knowledge, but they do not deserve to be punished for this. "

He said that they will still have the opportunity to be teachers, although no longer at the chalk face, but  they will be given another position within the education system. That’s how generous the reform is. That’s how noble our aim is to ensure that teachers are properly prepared and trained”.

He noted that the reform places greater demands on first-time teachers. "For them, there are greater demands. But for those who are already teachers, there are many opportunities in this evaluation process. And if in the end they do not pass all their exams, they will continue to be teachers, although no longer at the chalk face”.

“The model also rewards teachers' efforts. It rewards teacher who achieve good results, satisfactory grades and as a result of this personal achievement, are eligible for salary increases. This is how teacher who prepare, train and turn up for the evaluations are rewarded, motivated and encouraged”.

Second. The education model. He explained that an invitation has been issued so that all those who wish to contribute something to the model can participate and review it.  “This is not an imposed decision, or an imposed model,” he said. "On the contrary, we are in the processing of designing it.”

Today provides a great opportunity for teachers so that pedagogical experts can contribute to the construction of the educational model”.

Third. Ensure that schools are decent spaces where education is provided. That is why the Hundred Per Cent Schools Program was designed, “We have the goal that by 2018, when this administration concludes, we will be able to reach the goal of more than 33,000, a significant number: 33,000 schools that have been modernized and repaired, are well equipped with educational facilities and have good classrooms. They are those that are part of the goal we have set to create decent spaces, a decent educational infrastructure for the children in our country.”

These are the three main pillars, hence the importance of education reform, he said.  “It is important that we stand firm and be clear about the reason why they are designed, and their scope, because I believe that when you want to implement a change that breaks away from a previous model that no longer works, this elicits resistance, which is sometimes due to a lack of information”.

President Peña Nieto told the outstanding students that they will have the support and backing of the grant awarded by the BBVA Bancomer Foundation , which, “Encourages them to continue their efforts, to continue studying and to know they have a grant that will give them the support and financial assistance to be able to continue studying in the following years”.

At the event, during which he presented diplomas to those who ranked first in the Children's Knowledge Olympiad, the president told them that when he is no longer president of Mexico, he will continue to record events such as this, which have been held annually for 55 years. When one of you achieves an outstanding position in the future, “I will be able to say: I received that young lady or man when I was president of Mexico at Los Pinos,” he said.

EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON FOR TRANSFORMING MEXICO: AURELIO NUÑO

Citing the creation of the Public Education Secretariat (SEP) 95 years ago by former President Álvaro Obregón, and declaring that education has the capacity and potential to change and transform lives, Public Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño Mayer said that in the early 21st century, President Enrique Peña Nieto “took another very important decision: to undertake a reform that could thoroughly transform education to make it even better”.

He told the students attending the event that they are an example of effort, dedication, commitment and belief in education, and said that they will achieve all their dreams through education, since this is, “The most powerful weapon for transforming their lives and, therefore also the most powerful weapon for transforming Mexico. And that is why we are convinced we will achieve this great transformation. Through whom? You: who are and hold in your hands the future of this great country”.

What you have achieved today, he continued, is largely due, “to the work of Mexico’s teachers, yours: outstanding teachers. I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of teachers. What I have learned is that being a teacher, beyond a job or profession, is a lifelong vocation”, he said.

ACHIEVING QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL MEXICANS IS THE GOAL OF TRANSFORMING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM: SNTE

Juan Diaz de la Torre, President of the General Council of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), said that, “Every day we have more reasons to endorse our support of the transformation of the national education system, to strengthen the confidence that we will fulfill the goal of achieving quality education for all Mexicans”.

He said that the, “Transformation of the education system is critical to ensuring that our children and young people are equal and have equal opportunities to fully exercise that right”.

Diaz de la Torre said that, “We will continue to support this transformation, because the new legal framework governing the teaching profession strengthens public, secular, free and compulsory education and the obligation to enforce the human right to quality education”.

He added that supporting Education Reform, “Means understanding that it opens up a window of opportunity for current and future generations of our students so that they can have a quality education with equity, which will be the engine for the integral development of the nation and improving living conditions for Mexicans”.

 “Teachers, directors, institutions, education authorities, higher education institutions and research centers, and civil society organizations hold the key to these transformations to ensure Mexico’s educational success,” said Díaz de la Torre.

IT IS ONLY THROUGH QUALITY EDUCATION THAT we will become a FAIRER, MORE prosperous and developed COUNTRY: BBVA Bancomer

Luis Robles Miaja, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BBVA Bancomer Financial Group, said that, “Only with quality education will we become a fairer, more prosperous and developed nation”.

He said that, “In a globalized world, we must all boost our intellectual and spiritual capacities, which is only achieved through quality education. Moreover, education lays the foundations for a society based on meritocracy, where all Mexicans have equal opportunities”.

Robles Miaja said that Education Reform, “Is the most important structural reform the Mexican State has undertaken in many years. Its main goal is students, and it focuses on the schools and communities in which teachers play a special role”.

In the presence of President Enrique Peña Nieto, he said that although a small group of leaders and interest groups are attempting to prevent the application of Education Reform, “You have everyone 's support in ensuring that education reform becomes a reality and is applied throughout the country.”

Mr. President: GO ON SUPPORTING EDUCATION, WE KNOW YOU WANT TO BENEFIT ALL MEXICANS:  RICARDO ENRIQUE PRECIADO HERNÁNDEZ (STUDENT)

Ricardo Enrique Preciado Hernández, a student from the State of Colima and winner of first place in the 2016 Children's Knowledge Olympiad, spoke of the excitement he felt at participating in the event and shared the experience in the presence of President Enrique Peña Nieto: “I can’t compare it with anything; it is a dream come true”.

He asked the president to continue supporting education, “We know you want to benefit all Mexicans,” and expressed his pleasure at the prize-giving ceremony: “It is a wonderful incentive for all of us. It is great that this national gathering was held, which allows us to meet, exchange experiences and points of view”.

"Mexico needs us to be very alert and prepared to study to contribute to national development,” he said. He urged his colleagues to continue their efforts and dreaming, and said that everything they can achieve, “Don’t forget, is due to our teachers. Without them, our goals and dreams would not be possible.”