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Mexico: Spotlighting Indigenous Teachers and Their Work : Education International

The Mexican union and authorities recognise indigenous teachers for their work in rural communities in Mexico and their efforts to provide indigenous peoples with quality education.

The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), a member organisation of Education International, hosted an event in honour of indigenous teachers for their pioneering work in promoting education in the country’s rural communities, as well as their commitment to providing indigenous children and youths with quality, equal and inclusive education in their own language. 

To commemorate the work of indigenous teachers, the SNTE organised various activities to mark the 55th anniversary of the creation of the National Service of Cultural Promoters and Bilingual Educators, which is celebrated every year in Mexico on the 1st of March. 

Institutional Recognition 

As part of these activities, Paulino Canul Pacab, coordinator of the National Collegiate for Parity, Equity and Inclusion, attended the ceremony held for Indigenous Education Day in San Luis Potosí. Speaking on behalf of SNTE General Secretary Alfonso Cepeda Salas, Canul Pacab stated that the teachers’ union is determined to support teachers from indigenous communities in their vital work to promote and preserve identity and secure the right to education of indigenous children and peoples. 

Canul Pacab noted that the Union has held regional workshops and organised national and state congresses for indigenous teachers. Furthermore, in collaboration with UNESCO in Mexico, the SNTE created a document entitled Estrategias DidácticasGuía Para Docentes del Magisterio Indígena (“Didactic Strategies: A Guide for Teachers from Indigenous Communities”), a ground-breaking new tool at both the national and international level for the recognition of indigenous languages. He added that indigenous educators can access complimentary training through the SINADEP Foundation, an electronic portal provided by the SNTE to support professional development for teachers. 

Numerous Activities in Different Regions 

For its part, SNTE Section 23 in Puebla arranged an extensive programme of events in Zacapoaxtla to commemorate the official declaration of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. 

Among the activities organised by different union sections were sports and cultural events, as well as presentations of the work of teachers to strengthen and revitalise indigenous languages. 

Since 1964, Mexico has commemorated the creation of the National Service of Cultural Promoters and Bilingual Educators, which paved the way for the training and inclusion of indigenous teachers, a momentous change in education policy that enabled children from indigenous communities to receive an education in their own language, thereby strengthening their identity and culture. 


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