N áhuatl mandatory in public schools i n Mexico City

Maria Bolivar mbolivar at san.rr.com
Sun Aug 19 19:59:52 UTC 2007

Marcos, I agree the Pan stinks. I have no hopes for anything they either do
or not do. It is the left I criticize for disappointing those they claim to

As for the decree on Náhuatl, it is the work of Marcelo Ebrard, the governor
of Mexico City (PRD). It is interesting how the school system works in
Mexico. It used to be a Federal System, until it was decreed that each state
should manage its own resources. And it happened with the DF being the last
to be due for decentralization. That was one of the main quarrels between
Lopez and Fox (Zorro). Because of the numbers, DF Government would absorb
suddenly a big, big problem, coupled with a big, big subsidy, Fox attempted
to curtail. El subsidio educativo para el DF ascendía a 18 000 millones de
pesos en el año de la descentralización. 

Maria Bolivar

-----Original Message-----
From: Marcos Villaseñor [mailto:villas at anawak.com] 
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 11:43 AM
To: Maria Bolivar
Cc: 'Kier Salmon'; nahuatl at lists.famsi.org
Subject: Re: [Nahuat-l] Náhuatl mandatory in public schools in Mexico City

Everything in Mexico gets done (not) by decree. The imperial Wey  
Tlatoani system translated to the French ideal of humans devoid of  
history and separated from nature.  But at least it is a forward  
movement, we will see how serious they (Panistas) are about this in a  
couple of years. Recall that under Mr. Zorro, his Secretario de (Des)  
Educación Pública, decided that the pre-invasion history should not  
be included in the text books. I have no faith in the PAN leadership,  
as they are the same as the PRI and the PRD (Perdere), a bunch of  
thiefs who parrot their religious and moral beliefs, while pocketing  
millions of dollars at an incredible social cost.

We will see if Mr. Calderon is really about recognizing our  
indigenous roots and promoting their revival. But to judge by all the  
"privileged class" representatives I know in Mexico, they will  
continue the ethnocide that started 500 years ago, in the name of a  
christian civilizational project until all Mexicans have been de- 

Totenyo Totau'ka Mexika

el otro Marcos

On Aug 18, 2007, at 8:49 PM, Maria Bolivar wrote:

> And it will continue to be a disservice. What I am lamenting is not  
> that
> they included Nahuatl in the mandatory curriculum, rather that they  
> did it
> as they did, by decree and suddenly or as a spur of the moment thing.
> Languages like Náhuatl, Huichol, Yaqui, Maya deserve some serious  
> attention
> and the implementation of long term measures so more people can  
> access them
> and teach it. I frankly do not thing there are many programs in Mexico
> training teachers of any of the native American languages.
> As for English and French, I wish you did not considered them  
> odious -as per
> by decree also-, but useful. We should learn from the fact English  
> has been
> a mandatory language and very few people speak it fluently or care  
> to learn
> it. I would follow the French or German education model in that  
> area. French
> kids do learn German, English and Spanish. They spend time in the  
> country to
> perfect it. They choose it because those are the languages of their
> neighbors. You may learn French and English, fluently, in Private  
> Mexican
> Schools but not in Public Schools. My son had a teacher in  
> Zacatecas Public
> School who asked him not to answer and who got mad at my son when he
> attempted to explain to him he was misusing a word in English. As for
> French... only those who can afford the Alianza Francesa can learn  
> French.
> There is rarely a school that hires a French Instructor over,  
> precisely,
> subjects like Computación and Physics. Languages, Art and Music are as
> important in teaching critical thinking, systems understanding and
> abstraction, but are not considered along those lines "important".
> As for Civismo. I loved Civismo myself. I had a great teacher and  
> the books
> the government publishes are also great. I have them still, though  
> all the
> times I have moved. Civismo was, precisely, the subject that  
> allowed me to
> survive for years. But I do not think the majority of students  
> loved it.
> One more note on books in the various languages published by INEA.  
> I have
> the ones from Chiapas and Nayarit, they are beautiful. But for some  
> stupid
> reason they make a very limited edition of each of those so they  
> are stingy
> when people who are not speakers of those languages request them. I  
> asked
> the Mexican Consulate to donate books in those languages to a Cultural
> Center in an area of San Diego where people want to raise awareness of
> Native American Languages and they said it was a no, since those  
> books were
> primarily distributed in the states where those languages are still  
> spoken.
> Strictly speaking they are right... but think again. I have Mayan  
> speaking
> neighbors in Mira Mesa, San Diego and there are many Mixteco and  
> Purépecha
> workers whose children might not learn those languages in the US.
> Anyway... this new decree mandated Náhuatl starting the school year
> 2008-2009. We will see how many speakers of Náhuatl come forth to  
> fill those
> positions opening, and what the measure entails in terms of practical
> application. Considering the numbers involved, each hablante de  
> Náhuatl
> should work in several schools, various shifts and make a lot of  
> money...
> Unless, as they do for English, the SEDF hires friends who "say"  
> they speak
> Náhuatl, instead.
> Saludos
> María Bolívar
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nahuatl-bounces at lists.famsi.org
> [mailto:nahuatl-bounces at lists.famsi.org] On Behalf Of Marcos  
> Villaseñor
> Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2007 3:25 PM
> To: Kier Salmon
> Cc: nahuatl at lists.famsi.org
> Subject: Re: [Nahuat-l] Náhuatl mandatory in public schools in  
> Mexico City
> It was about time to make Nawatl a mandatory subject, I have always
> thought it a disservice for Mexican schools not teach Nawatl, but
> French or English instead, both odious langauges to the Mexican
> Indigenous people.
> Totenyo, Totau'ka Mexika
> Marcos Villaseñor (Altepeteku'tli)
> On Aug 18, 2007, at 2:19 PM, Kier Salmon wrote:
>> Having grow up in Mexico and been in Mexican public schools, I
>> shudder to think about the logistics of the problem.  The teachers
>> would be one step ahead of the students all the way.
>> I was fully spanish/english bilingual and two of my Secundaria
>> teachers were ok with letting me read in class and letting them get
>> on with trying to pound the language (very inexpertly) into my
>> classmates heads... one decided my brother and I had to perform all
>> the tasks she gave the class; I still remember the day she said,
>> "Mouse; mice, blouse...   "  That one stalemated in La Directora's
>> office.  Now think of the difference linguistically between spanish
>> and nahuatl as opposed to spanish and english (both indo-european
>> based if broadly seperated.).
>> One thing I think we will see, however is a much larger support
>> from the population for learning nahuatl.  English and french and
>> german were very resented as signs of Mexico's subordination on the
>> international scene and all my classmates gladly forgot every bit
>> they learned as fast as possible.  There is hope that this would
>> not be the feeling about nahuatl; for the past 20 years "hablar
>> indio" has been much less pejorative than it was in my growing up
>> years.
>> On Aug 18, 2007, at 9:53 AM, Maria Bolivar wrote:
>>> I am sorry I have been so busy I did not check if the list has
>>> discussed
>>> Náhuatl becoming a mandatory subject in all of Mexico City's
>>> Public Schools.
>>> I am interested to know how is it they plan to implement that
>>> decree. I
>>> truly was not aware of us having so many instructors all ready to
>>> start all
>>> those classes for the cycle 2008-2009 when the decree becomes
>>> effective.
>>> English is a mandatory subject already. I remember in Zacatecas
>>> there were
>>> very few instructors of English and those available did not really
>>> speak
>>> English. I know in Mexico City English is mandatory, but the
>>> number of
>>> people fluent in English does not surface as it should. I hope the
>>> new
>>> measure for Náhuatl does not run the same course. It is wonderful
>>> to dream,
>>> but not just in paper. What do you all think?
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Maria Bolivar
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