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Rejection of Mario Delgado as Future Secretary of Education

- July 5, 2024

Elected President Claudia Sheinbaum resumed her informal meetings known as “Thursday Cabinet” and presented the new members of her working team for the third consecutive week, who will accompany her when she takes office.

The new cabinet members are:

* Secretariat of Public Education: Mario Delgado

* Governor’s Office: Rosa Icela Rodríguez

* Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection: Omar García Harfuch

* Secretary of Welfare: Ariadna Montiel

However, the future nomination of Mario Delgado, current national president of MORENA, as secretary of education has raised great concern not only in the educational sphere and the CNTE, but also among parent associations.

The National Union of Parents (UNPF) expressed its rejection of Mario Delgado’s appointment as next head of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) in President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum’s government.

In a statement, they emphasized that the current situation in education requires a more prepared profile at the helm of the SEP, highlighting that some of the most pressing issues are:

* More than six million children out of school

* Over 50% of deficient infrastructure

* Bad educational policy that has led to the illegality of textbooks and improvisation of the 2023-2024 school cycle

* Lack of preparation of teachers in Mexico’s public sector

“The profile of a secretary of education should be aligned with the current demands of Mexico’s educational emergency,” UNPF said in its press release.

Rejection of Mario Delgado as SEP head

UNPF qualified the direction that would take Mexican education “as alarming and worrying” if not suitable profiles and required experience were presented to face challenges and address the sector’s needs, while adhering to criteria for continuous improvement, efficiency, and effectiveness.

They consider Delgado as someone with little experience and results in this area.

Additionally, they stressed that Article 3 of the Constitution must be respected, which establishes a laic education free from party ideology and avoiding partisanship from public institutions responsible for those who collaborate in it, and providing results based on public resources assigned for a specific purpose.

“I know that Mario will play a significant role at the Ministry of Education,” said Sheinbaum this Thursday during the presentation of new cabinet members. However, moments later, expressions of rejection toward Delgado began to emerge.

CNTE rejects Delgado

After Delgado’s appointment as head of SEP, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) qualified the nomination as a step backward for public education.

Through social media, they added that the coordinator and democratic teaching reject Delgado as SEP head, since he supported Enrique Peña Nieto’s educational reform.

On social media, rejection of Delgado’s appointment has become evident. Under hashtags like #NoAMarioDelgadoSEP and #EducationWithoutDelgado, users have expressed their opposition and remembered his vote in favor of Peña Nieto’s education reform. Comments like “Mario Delgado betrayed teachers by supporting a reform that damaged the educational sector” and “Don’t forget his role in the 2013 reform, he is not fit to lead SEP” are some of the messages that can be read on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Moreover, several opinion leaders and education experts have shared their concerns about this appointment, suggesting that the new SEP head should be someone with an immaculate history in defense of public education and teachers’ rights.

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