top
Americas
Americas
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Americas | Santa Cruz Indymedia
La Otra Educacion: Zapatista Schools
by danielsan
Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Day two of the Encuentro between the EZLN and International Civil Society began with a workshop on the Other Education, the schools that educate children in the Autonomous zones where the Zapatista Juntas de Buen Gobierno (Councils of Good Government) provide social services. The last cold morning (of 2006) saw a crowd of observers and participants packed into Oventic's classroom to hear representatives of the five caracoles (+/- districts) discuss their reasons for autonomous schools, their process, and the 'modest achievements' of the *other* education.
640_84outsidemesa.jpg
For one of the first times, if not the very first, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) spoke publicly about its clandestine schools this morning, bringing together representatives from all five caracoles (also a first) to talk about the reasons, the development, and the implementation of a completely distinct and autonomous system of schools. Education is an important issue in Mexico--a constitutional right--and Chiapas is no exception. Like in neighboring Oaxaca, where teachers have played a leading role in social movements, resources for education are slim and do not reach communities isolated by geography, culture, and poverty. Zapatistas mentioned the government schools, built and operated by the army, as places of abuse, enforced assimilation, and reinforcement of gender and cultural inequality.

Listen to the MP3 files below, in Spanish, to hear more about EZLN schools, 'autonomous schools in revolt.'
§mesa 1
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_81mesa.jpg
§mesa 2
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_mesa.jpg
§intro foto
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_84mesahead.jpg
§intro audio
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
The speaker above inaugurated the workshop by welcoming the assembled crowd and by explaining that in creating Zapatista schools, the community had reclaimed its own education, had taken schools out of the hands of the government and put them in the hands of the people.
§cifras fotos
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_86cifras.jpg
§cifras audio
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
This representative from Caracol 1 (La Realidad), gave statistics from the area demonstrating the greater retention of female students in EZLN schools, and spoke of the expansion of the Zapatista education system.
§jesus foto
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_87jesus.jpg
§jesus audio
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
La Otra Educacion, Jesus explains, is bilingual, supporting the mother tongue and preserving indigenous culture. In (mal) government schools, children learn and speak only Spanish, but by teaching both Zapatista schools better prepare their students.
§cap foto
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
640_89noensenamoscap.jpg
§cap audio
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
Ideology is a part of education, explicitly or not, and This representative of Caracol 2 (Oventic) explains that 'we will not permit them to teach capitalism' and the doctrine of neoliberalism to Chiapaneco children.
§miedo
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
This file contains perhaps my favorite quote of the day, in which the other representative from Caracol 2 explains that 'miedo es la negacion de democracia' (Fear is contrary to democracy). He went on to give a webpage address for more information about Zapatista schools http://www.serazln-altos.org/celm.html and explain three important aspects of La Otra Educacion: first, that the teachers are volunteers; second, that their schools teach about the environment so that children learn to defend the land and its natural resources; and third, that the schools in revolt support the idea that the genders are equal in intelligence.
§esuelas del mal gob
by danielsan Sunday Dec 31st, 2006 2:06 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
The workshop briefly paused while we moved outside to accomodate the large crowd (where the audio quality dropped significantly). The one file I'll post is a representative of Caracol 4, who spoke about the (mal) government's schools ('No nos ensenaban!' / They didn't even teach us!) and the process for setting up an alternative, one which even some non-Zapatista aligned parents now send their children to. Elisa explains that parents pulled their children out of the government schools and supported the development of la otra educacion instead for many reasons, one of them being that government schools taught girls that they didn't have the same rights to learn or to speak as the boys.

For gender equality, for the survival and propagation of native languages, for the right to tell their own stories, for the preservation and safeguarding of indigenous culture, for freedom from military control,...

For autonomy.

Desde Oventic...

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 111.20 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network