New Mexican President: AMLO’s Views on Education

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After the elections on July 1st, Mexico has a new president-elect: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly referred to as ‘AMLO’) of the leftist Morena party.
AMLO. Photo: Octavio Hoyos /

As of 1 December 2018, he will be President of Mexico for the next six years. During his campaign, he has referred several times to the importance of education for Mexico's growth. He focused mainly on reversing the educational reforms implemented by current president Peña Nieto. Internationalisation of (higher) education was not mentioned during his campaign, since it was mainly focused on internal issues in Mexico (also other fields of foreign affairs were hardly mentioned).

By Sander Verkijk, Chief Representative Officer, Neso Mexico.

One of the most important points related to higher education he mentions is that he wants to offer universal admission to universities. Currently, the largest public universities, such as the UNAM and IPN, apply entrance exams to limit their yearly enrolment. Only one out of every ten students that take the exam can be enrolled. AMLO wants to realise a 100% enrolment of students, although he has not clearly explained how he envisions realising this

New Secretary of Public Education, internationally educated

The proposed new Secretary of Public Education is Esteban Moctezuma Barragán. He has been a public servant since the ‘90s, occupying several governmental positions, including being the Secretary of State (equivalent to vice president) in 1994-1995.

Mr. Moctezuma Barragán has a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Economics of the UNAM in Mexico, a Master’s degree in Economic Policies of Cambridge University and a specialisation diploma in regional development from the University of Tokyo.

10 point-programme on education

For your interest, below you will find a translation of the 10 points for education that he has published as part of his electoral campaign on his website. Naturally, these campaign points may or may not be implemented in the upcoming six years, depending on the decisions made by the Mexican Congress.

Please note that Nuffic Neso not necessarily endorses all points of view of the new president-elect.

  1. Strengthen free public education and improve the quality at all levels of education, since education is a right of the people, not a privilege.
  2. Supply food for pupils of primary schools in poor and marginalised regions of the country.
  3. All high school students will receive a monthly scholarship to avoid school dropout.
  4. University or higher education students from low income families will receive a monthly scholarship of MXN $2,400 (100 euros). They will not be rejected when enrolling; 100% of enrolment for all youth that want to enter universities.
  5. Priority will be given to strengthen the 'Escuelas Normales' (teacher training schools) and the National Pedagogic University to update teaching methods, learning methods and improve the quality of education.
  6. The badly-named educational reform will be cancelled. Executive power will be used to stop the administrative and labour affectations to the national magisterium. There will be justice for those that have been affected by the imposition of the badly named educational reforms. There will be justice for the unjustly dismissed, for political prisoners and for the victims of violence. Likewise, from the start of the [new] government, initiatives for reforms will be sent to laws that violate the dignity and the rights of teachers in Mexico.
  7. Jointly with teachers, heads of families and pedagogical specialists we will elaborate an educational plan that will really improve the quality of education without affecting the workers' rights of the magisterium. There will never be another educational reform without the magisterium!
  8. The independence and autonomy of education workers in Mexico will be respected. The government will not intervene in the internal life of organisations to guarantee a full democracy with the teacher’s unions. Democracy as a form of life and a form of governing. Democracy as a form of life means democracy within the family, democracy within the community, democracy within the labour union, democracy within the school and democracy within the country.
  9. Alternative ideas for education that have been proposed by several federative entities will be reviewed again. For example, the plan to transform the state of Oaxaca and especially help indigenous education, respecting and preserving their languages, traditions, customs, environment and their social communitarian organisation.
  10. Fees that heads of family must pay for the maintenance of schools will be suspended. Governmental funds will be destined directly to school councils for these purposes.

More information about the electoral victory of López Obrador

Several Dutch and international newspapers have published extensive articles about AMLO and his plans for his presidential term. Please refer to these articles for more information about his background and his points of view:

Photo: Octavio Hoyos /

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