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Teachers Do Not Teach; Parents Invade Offices

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 21 January, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 21 January) Parents of students of the Lázaro Cárdenas primary school yesterday took over the offices of the State Department of Education for the Acapulco-Coyuca Region. Their complaint: No one has shown up to teach their children since before Christmas, and in some cases, since August. Over 100 students in all grades have no teachers. In some cases, substitute teachers have shown up, but mostly the students are left in unsupervised classrooms.

The parents placed protest posters at the entrances of the state offices, demanding that the local bureaucrat in charge, Alfred Bello Salmerón, listen to them and do something about it. Their complaints have gone unanswered for months, so the parents finally decided to occupy the building, demanding an interview with the authorities. They waited from 5:00 am until nearly noon, and no official had spoken with them.

Guerrero, one of the poorest of Mexico’s states, also has the most dysfunctional educational system, in which underpaid teachers spend most of the year fighting with politically-protected bureaucrats about labor “rights,” while the students miss out on their education.

In related stories, the labor union of professors of the Autonomous University of Guerrero, a part of Mexico’s public university system, has declared a strike again, threatening to leave students without classes for yet another period. The strike call also affects the secondary schools operated by UAG. The deadline is January 28. Negotiations broke off for the usual reasons, some of which relate to pay and benefits, and others to whether certain dissident groups shall be present in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, some of the students seem headed for trouble. Yesterday, 62 students in the UAG secondary school program were detained by police for starting a fight on board a city bus from Vacacional into town. The police confiscated machetes, knives, daggers and box cutters. The 29 girls and 33 boys were taken to the main police station around 9 am. One group was from the gang called “Mouse” (at Prep School 17) and the other from a gang called “Los Chicanos” (at Prep School 27).

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