For students and parents in Oaxaca, Mexico, the start of this year's school season is a breath of fresh air, with the first days of school being free of any conflicts and issues, contrary to what has been the state's trend during the past few years.
Schoolchildren in Oaxaca have been on the losing side of an ongoing rift between the state's teachers and the government, with classes consistently falling behind schedule due to teachers' protests that have managed to take up to 25 percent of the school days in a year, according to El Daily Post.
Teachers in Oaxaca have garnered a reputation for being very active in governmental issues. The teachers' union, for one, has become a force to be reckoned with in the country, with their tendency to abandon their classroom duties in favour of participating in protests that usually turn violent. Their protests usually cause blocks in major highways and close off oil refineries.
Parents have even stated that there are some teachers who have threatened to fail their children if they do not support the teachers' union, whose demands range from higher pay to the resignation of a prominent government official, reported Fox News.
A crackdown on the activities of the teachers' union has been initiated by President Enrique Peña Nieto to wrest control of the schools from the teachers' union by implementing a national education reform.
The educational reform targets union practices such as the selling of teaching jobs, as well as the practice of having a child inherit a teaching post. Investigations by the government have also found that thousands of non-existent teachers were receiving paychecks regularly.
With the peaceful first few days in this school year, however, parents and schoolchildren can only wonder how long the peace can last.
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