Well now it turns out that Vasconcelos, Torres Bodet, Agustín Yáñez, Miguel González Avelar and all the Secretaries of Education of this country during the last hundred years (including Bartlett), dedicated themselves to spreading the fearsome “neoliberal model” (whatever this is ). Oh my gosh…how strong.

It must also be said that all the thousands and thousands of teachers who trained Mexican children and youngsters for decades favored racism and used standardized tests that segregated society. All these wicked (for sure traitors to the country) gave a meritocratic, elitist, patriarchal education and committed and continue to commit the serious sin of forming individuals to compete and not to share. Wow!

In addition, the unforgettable Marx Arriaga, director of educational materials of the SEP (the one who declared that reading for pleasure was a neoliberal act!) said that education had become a business that absorbs billions of pesos (is it because the truckloads of money that are given again to the CNTE to have it as a clientele?) and that all this is going to end.

Beyond the irony, the issue is very worrying. An author as wise as Hannah Arendt says that education is the first thing that is destroyed when totalitarianism emerges. The search for knowledge and universality that education entails does not go through the attempt to impose a single thought. The true purpose of education, many of us believe, is about understanding and thinking. The limitations imposed to narrow understanding and reduce to one the various ways of understanding the environment are always by definition anti-democratic. We can allow this to happen only if we accept that freedom is an impediment. I refuse it.

Educating and learning is not accumulating knowledge, it is having access to it and making our own judgments and evaluations. And all of this is what makes coexistence possible. The cities, the civilizations, were born thanks to the ability to accept the other and live all submitted and protected at the same time by the law. If these assumptions are not met, our freedom is in trouble.

Authoritarianism grows and is nourished by an education that indoctrinates instead of teaching how to think.

I would like if I may have a suggestion to Mr. Marx (not Karl but Arriaga) education should not be linked to ideology. Scholars of the subject say that they must pass in separate lanes, and the Democrats agree with it. Educating (or governing) cannot be a matter of imposing on everyone the truth arrived at by one or at most a group of individuals. We must passionately and vehemently oppose standardizing our convictions. I do believe in that.

Theresa Vale


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Psychologist, driver, writer, commentator for Grupo Formula.

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