Mexico: SNTE Proposals for a Safe Return to Classes

published 5 August 2020 updated 9 June 2021

The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) has presented a 10-point programme on the safe re-opening of schools to the Ministry of Public Education. The union is proposing a “hybrid” launch of the school year with a mix of distance learning and in-person education.

In a meeting with Esteban Moctezuma, Minister of Public Education, SNTE General Secretary Alfonso Cepeda Salas presented proposals for a re-opening of schools that is safe for teachers, students, and the community. They also discussed salaries and working conditions.

Among the proposals were:

  • To improve and intensify the training of students and teachers in information and communication technologies (ICT) before the prolongation of the use of distance and online learning.
  • To provide computer equipment to students and teachers and pay associated costs for its use to improve access to and the use of ICT, virtual platforms, social networks, and the Internet.
  • Close the digital gap that affects the educational system and improve the pedagogical use of technologies, while recognising that teachers are irreplaceable.
  • Improve distance education materials for use in a different medium, including open, virtual, by television and radio, and through distribution of written materials.
  • Value the willingness of teachers to extend the workday and allow intrusion into their family time and make appropriate adjustments in recognition of their commitment.
  • Reinforce psychological and emotional support measures to students, parents, teachers, and administrators to reduce uncertainty, insecurity, and stress.
  • Guarantee the human rights to health, social security, wages, job security, pensions, and decent housing for education workers, especially those who are older and/or suffering from illness.

For the duration of the pandemic, the SNTE re-affirmed the willingness of education workers to help health personnel and authorities. It seeks to contribute to building “a future of certainty, opportunities, progress and well-being for the people of Mexico.”