A Critique of Enrique Peña Nieto’s Failed Education Initiative

Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s previous president, centered his candidacy as president around a education “reform programme that would revolutionize the country’s education system, improve standards, tame an all-powerful teachers’ union and crack down on rampant corruption – such as wages for non-existent ‘ghost teachers'” However, as his presidency term came to an end, there was no significant change. How so?

For starters, Peña Nieto invested more money on PR than actual teacher training. He spent about 2,700% more on communications in 2017 than was budgeted by his administration. They justified it by saying that it was to ensure that people would understand the change to come, however, no change came. His strategy for addressing issues in education, in my opinion, focused on a small part of the actual issue. It appears to me that he wanted to silence and control school teachers rather than address their outcries. Juán Carlos, a teacher at Ángel Albino Corzo primary school in Buena Vista, says that he cannot get his students to focus. He does not blame it on the students, instead, he brings up the fact that most of the students come to school hungry, and are more concerned with when their next meal will be rather than mathematics. Additionally, Carlos says that they lack resources. Without a computer lab and internet, he has no access to online resources that can help educate his students. Another factor that affected these students education is gang violence, which created an unsafe and dangerous environment and affected school hours. In winter months, schools close early as most students walk home from school alone. Given then factors, I fail to see how Enrique Peña Nieto’s education initiative could have been successful (PR spending aside) as he fails to address the issues/factors that affect the students ability in the classroom.



Works Cited

Agren, David. “Mexico’s Education Reforms Flounder as More Spent on PR than Teacher Training.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 15 May 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/15/mexico-education-reform-controversy-presidential-election#maincontent.

Lakhani, Nina. “’The Help Never Lasts’: Why Has Mexico’s Education Revolution Failed?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 15 Aug. 2017, www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/aug/15/the-help-never-lasts-why-has-mexicos-education-revolution-failed#maincontent.

“Reforma Educativa.” Excélsior, 28 Apr. 2017, www.excelsior.com.mx/topico/reforma-educativa.

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