SEP Temporarily Suspends Controversial Study Plan



Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) backed down and agreed to stop, for now, the implementation of its contentious study program, after two judges suspended it indefinitely.

“Temporarily and in respect of the rule of law, the pilot program of the new study plan for preschool and primary and secondary education will not be applied,” the SEP said in a statement.

“The SEP filed the resources provided for in the law, of which a prompt resolution is expected in favor of the best interests of children and adolescents in the country, which will be timely knowledge of all educational authorities,” the SEP statement further read.

Federal Judges Martín Santos and Francisco Javier Rebolledo Peña indefinitely suspended the SEP pilot program that was to be implemented in 960 preschool, primary and secondary schools in Mexico. Amparos (habeas corpus injunctions) were filed by the civil organization Educación con Rumbo, whose representatives alleged that the program does not guarantee equal education, and that the National Council for School Participation in Education (CNPEE) was not consulted.

The judges, in their respective rulings, considered that the SEP was experimenting with a pilot plan without a formal study program, that the teachers were not trained, and that there was no certainty about the subjects and the content of the curriculum, nor how students will be assessed.

On Sunday, Oct. 2, the SEP announced that it would go ahead with the study program despite the injunctions. For his part, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) threatened to investigate one of the judges, Rebolledo Peña.

“We are going to investigate, and we are going to see who the judge was, and what his reason was (for the decision),” López Obrador said in his morning press conference at the National Palace on Friday, Oct. 7. “We respect the judiciary. We have never disobeyed a court order. But the decision left a trace of … a defense of particular interests, and reactionary conservative thought everywhere. Everywhere.”

Shortly after AMLO announced his planned investigation into Rebolledo Peña, several civil groups in Mexico demanded a dialogue with the SEP to participate in the preparation of its educational programs.

The SEP, through its statement, said that it will continue with its training for teachers, despite the setback.

“Although the pilot program is temporarily suspended, the continuous training for teachers on the curriculum for preschool, primary and secondary will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the 2022-2023 school calendar,” the SEP statement read.

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