On May 2, in the evening edition, the SEP agreement was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation by which the Operating Rules of La Escuela es Nuestra (LEEN) are modified. In the previous weeks, a wide network of resistance was formed: organizations and activists, directors and families, and one or another state official were questioning the robbery that represented the first attempt, in February, to completely eliminate the extended day and food in schools, in the scheme that previously had the name of “Full Time Schools”.
Not only was there no public acknowledgment of nonsense, nor any contrition. In its best version, the President and the Secretary said that they were studying how to incorporate those factors, but – now – good. On the worst days, they mixed reality and fiction, made a salad of explanations without support, and incidentally insisted that the cut had been a much-needed purge, due to the corruption of intermediation.
Another day I will return to that argument put forward by the Executive, which not because it is a favorite and frequent enough to condense a little bit of honesty and consistency. If they know that there was embezzlement before, as it is also said from that headquarters, then report it. Whoever detects a diversion, as a public servant, becomes an accomplice and does not file a complaint: If money was stolen from food or that corresponded to support for teachers, it took a long time to proceed.
But at the height of the inconsistency, despite the complaints of the school communities about how some Welfare officials have taken advantage of the resources to improve infrastructure in their favor or that of their friends and family, food and extended hours are inserted in a program whose large amount and brief trajectory make it a candidate for very low ratings from CONEVAL.
The story is simple: they wanted to fund a new project without granting it fresh resources, so as not to get out of the discipline of forced “austerity”, and the new self-construction program was given financial space for gobbling up public money from other items, sending money from the Mexicans that was in a consolidated program, and widely evaluated positively, to the dangerous experiment of the occurrence. In 2021 he reluctantly joined, and by the beginning of 2022 he wanted to leave an infrastructure-only program.
The positive effects on permanence, learning achievement, nutrition and closing of gaps between schools and between students that the extension of the day has had have been well documented. Also, that extending the schedule entails factors of consolidation of community participation, a greater identification of families and teachers, has a great effect of gender equity in families, facilitates the roots of teachers in the communities they serve, and it even favors administrative consolidation when the double position of teachers is taken advantage of and made transparent.
Originally, LEEN is a strategy to expand unskilled work to facilitate economic reactivation; that is valid as an objective, but what is questionable is that it is intended to be executed against educational logic and against the specific rights of girls and boys. The food and the day are investments in them and themselves, in their person; On the other hand, LEEN’s approach is adult-centric, which with this change became an “adult program” even more than it already was when it was only used for patios and bathrooms.
The current Operating Rules, issued by a secretarial agreement published on May 2, do not fully ensure the redemption of the rights that were already being exercised; they have the potential to accelerate inequality; they are inequitable and discriminatory; they are centralist and respond to an authoritarian welfare approach; They favor opacity and capture.
They are, in short, a fragile and immature correction of a dispossession and dismantling that could not be consummated because society intervened and was activated as legitimate resistance. It was activated in the form of complaints before the CNDH, protections by schools, the pronouncement of the 32 commissions, and the National, of human rights, and from the litigations that I mentioned. We now have new rules and old problems. A new activation cycle is now required to protect the rights of girls and boys, especially the former. Let’s go again, to see if they come to their senses and join in thinking about lives and not about cement.