MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a bill to Congress Wednesday to revoke a controversial education reform launched by his predecessor that sparked violent protests by teachers.
The anti-establishment leftist, who took office this month with a promise of "deep and radical" change, called on lawmakers to annul his center-right predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto’s "misnamed education reform," which sought to boost the quality of public schools by submitting teachers to evaluations, among other measures.
Lopez Obrador, widely known by his initials, "AMLO," proposed a new plan that would scrap evaluations and in which education would be free at all levels, promising to build 100 new public universities and give out 300,000 grants to needy students.
Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma said the new plan would focus on "permanent training" for teachers, rather than evaluations.
Some 1,000 teachers were sacked under the 2013 reform for failing to pass their evaluations. Lopez Obrador said the government would now re-hire them.
The reform was met with fiery protests from teachers, including one in Oaxaca state that left eight people dead.
One of Mexico’s most powerful unions, the CNTE teachers’ union, backed Lopez Obrador’s presidential campaign. — AFP