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  • Rene has been working in the School system of the Mixtec Highlands for 38 years as a teacher and a clerk. On graduation day at the CBTIS (Technical Highschool) in Tlaxiaco, he explains how education works in an indigenous region of a country where native peoples are second class citizens.
  • "My name is Rene Hernandez. What I know is a little bit of history: in the past, rural teachers would have the moral obligation to give good education. They were more strict, respectful and conscious. Nowadays is a mess, the teachers are vicious, they are always on strike, asking the State Government to place them where they want, instead of going to far communities to give the necessary education, it's more about their own interest.
  • "Nowadays a teacher is always late, he's always looking after his own family and interests so the student doesn't matter. That's why I say that education used to be more strict, because it was more about conviction rather than an economical interest. For example, in this region it is very common that when a teacher owns a vehicle, he is more worried about making money with it offering transportation to other teachers or students, rather than his class. It's just business.
  • "In the north of the country, in non-indigenous communities it's different, institutions have more responsibility about their teachers, they have more discipline, there a teacher would never be drunk at class, or hit the students, because he would get kicked out of that school, but here a teacher can do anything he wants because indigenous communities don't know what to do.

    "It is a problem of the State Government because they mask the teacher's vices, it's a problem of the parents because they don't have time for their kids, it's a problem of the corruption in Mexican society, all of that leaves the youth with no values or respect, no interest in studies, so it's easier for them to go for the easy way: robbery, drug-addiction, or they just wanna leave. Here a typical 15-year-old is just thinking about going to the States—why would he care if he's a good or a bad student?
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