By MARK LORENZANA
There have been mostly negative reactions to the appointment by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of Leticia Ramírez as head of Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP), to replace Delfina Gómez Álvarez.
Ramírez has not been in her position for more than a couple of days, and already the SEP had presented a “New Study Plan for Education that seeks to combat colonialism, patriarchy, mercantilism and limit education to only cover job profiles.”
Alejandro Envila Fisher — veteran journalist, lawyer and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) — once wrote: “Education is training to face and assume responsibilities” and “Education serves to improve people’s living conditions … beyond ideological conceptions or models of government, authoritarian or democratic: The greatest responsibilities and the best job positions are for the most qualified people, with the greatest cognitive tools.”
It has always been López Obrador’s modus operandi to impose his education reform, which will affect both curriculum and texts for all levels of public education. It is something that the former SEP head — Gómez Álvarez — had championed, and once described as “part of the government’s new social dynamic.”
“As far as upper secondary education is concerned, the educational model of the Fourth Transformation (4T) is being developed and these foundations are being laid, precisely, as the new Mexican education system,” Gómez Álvarez said.
Former leader of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), Elba Esther Gordillo, recently voiced out her displeasure at the appointment, and said in an interview with Radio Formula that Ramírez had been “submissive, silent in the face of such important issues as education.”
“I see that education is not a priority of the Mexican state or of this government,” Gordillo said.
Gordillo said that, under López Obrador, it seems that education is not the priority. Of course not. The goal here is not to educate, but to indoctrinate.
“When girls and boys begin to study modernity and its historical, scientific, productive, technological, cultural and artistic processes, they are actually studying the processes of colonization and its domains,” read the SEP study plan. “From a decolonial perspective of the inclusion, it is essential that students are aware that they live in a globalized world that cannot be for everyone.”
In addition, the study plan states that “the public school must be preserved as a space for strictly secular coexistence and defend itself from approaches that wish to reduce it to an institution that provides learning services to satisfy beliefs, fanaticisms and prejudices that come from individuals with religious, business or political interests.”
The 212-page report purportedly seeks to “banish” the “four domains of colonial logic:” economic (“land appropriation and human exploitation”), political (“control of the authorities”), social (“gender control, social class, sexuality, ethnic condition”) and epistemic (“control of knowledge and subjectivities”).
The scary thing about the SEP report is that it reads like the “Original Commandments” in novelist George Orwell’s allegorical fable, “Animal Farm:” Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy; whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend; no animal shall wear clothes; no animal shall sleep in a bed; no animal shall drink alcohol; no animal shall kill any other animal; all animals are equal.
Students need to be taught skills that will benefit them as professionals when they graduate and step into the real world.
Children being taught propaganda and being indoctrinated at an early age has no place in any educational institution.
The former SEP head, Gómez Álvarez, had always championed AMLO’s education reform. Now, under Ramírez’s watch, the SEP is presenting this Orwellian “study plan.”
In Ramírez, López Obrador has found the perfect replacement for Gómez Álvarez.