By KELIN DILLON
Less than a week after Mexican Judge Martín Santos ruled to suspend the Secretariat of Public Education’s (SEP) controversial pilot educational program on Monday, Sept. 26, Federal Judge Francisco Javier Rebolledo put yet another amparo against the SEP plan, stopping the program’s implementation into 960 public schools across Mexico in its tracks.
The pilot program has been fraught with contention throughout its development process, with civil associations like Educación con Rumbo filing complaints against the SEP for not establishing a National Council for School Participation in Education as outlined by the General Law of Education of 2019. Now, the federal judge has ruled in favor of Educación con Rumbo and against the SEP in a decision made on Friday, Sept. 30, putting an indefinite pause on the pilot program.
Rebolledo’s ruling stated his disappointment that the SEP would implement an expirimental program to children and untrained teachers, which could potentially put the quality of their education at risk, instead ordering that the “current study plan in the referenced educational centers must be continued.”
“It is inadmissible to order the piloting of the new plan without the issuance and publication of the study programs authorized by the SEP and without the prior training of teachers in this regard,” said the Rebolledo at the time.
The judge went on to point out that many of the pilot program’s details – like what subjects will be taught, what curriculum will be used, and how their academic process will be evaluated and reported – remain unclear, despite the fact that the program is intended to be implemented into this 2022-2023 school year.
“There is also no certainty as to whether textbooks that must be used for the new study plan have already been prepared and authorized, aspects that are necessary to guarantee the right to education of these boys and girls,” said Rebolledo.
“This new plan would be applied to certain students only to determine the failures and successes of the new educational model, without taking into account that this may affect the right to education of these students,” continued Rebolledo, pointing out that the plan’s expirimental implementation into just 960 schools could set the test subjects back in their own academic development.
While the suspension is only temporary at the moment, Rebolledo will have the opportunity to turn his amparo into a definitive suspension on Oct. 7, while the SEP gears up to file a complaint against the federal judge’s ruling.
“While the legal process continues, the SEP will continue to implement the pilot program of the new Study Plan for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education in 960 public schools across the country,” concluded the SEP.