Education reform approved in Mexico

Updated 19 January 2013
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Education reform approved in Mexico

MEXICO CITY: A plan to overhaul Mexico’s public education system has been ratified by 18 of the country’s 31 states, allowing it to be enacted by President Enrique Pena Nieto, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The law, which is backed by Pena Nieto and was approved by Congress in December, calls for creation of a professional system for hiring, evaluating and promoting teachers without the “discretionary criteria” currently used in a system where teaching positions are often bought or inherited.
“The goal of the reform is a quality education and for this there are two big things (needed): Evaluating professional teachers and the body that will evaluate the system,” said Sen. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, president of the Senate’s Education Commission who confirmed the reform’s approval.
The plan, which has multi-party support, will move much of the control of the public education system to the federal government from the 1.5 million-member National Union of Education Workers, led for 23 years by Elba Esther Gordillo. Under the old law, she hires and fires teachers, and she has been accused of using union funds as her personal pocket book.
The overhaul was Pena Nieto’s first major proposal since taking office Dec. 1 and is considered a political blow to Gordillo, who has played the role of kingmaker for many Mexican politicians. She was conspicuously absent from the announcement.
Pena Nieto is expected to sign the reform into law in about a week, Romero Hicks said.
FROM: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

Updated 26 April 2018
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Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

  • Beijing hosted the first SCO Defense Ministers meeting after the organization was expanded in 2017 and added India and Pakistan as full members
  • He said that presence of Daesh in Afghanistan is a source of insecurity for its neighbors

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Defense Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan has eliminated terrorism from its soil at a monumental cost — in the in blood of soldiers and citizens.
The minister made his remarks at the 15th Defense Ministers Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing.
He added that Pakistan had adopted a comprehensive national action plan to combat terrorism: “We have suffered economic losses in excess of US $120 billion (Rs 13,920 billion) in our war against terror,” he added.
It was the first assembly of SCO Defense Ministers since the organization expanded in 2017, adding India and Pakistan as full members.

Khan said the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan, including presence of ISIS (Daesh), was a source of insecurity for its neighbors and the entire region.

“Serious challenges facing the region include violent extremism, poverty, lack of trans-boundary water management, drug trafficking, refugees, human trafficking and border controls,” the minister said.

Khan acknowledged the existence of bilateral issues between SCO members, but asserted that these should “never be allowed to impede our collective work.” He encouraged his counterparts to face collective challenges with “courage, harmony and cooperation.”

The minister signed a communiqué with other participants offering support for the “Shanghai Spirit” of building a shared community with peace and stability, development and prosperity.

Defense ministers from the SCO member states including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India attended the meeting. The defense minister of Belarus attended as an observer.