As the teacher of said techniques I suppose I should weigh in here...
jQuery's relevance in 2016 is up for debate, though for "syntactic sugar" and convenience of its APIs I'd argue it's still valuable. For example, native JS to select a set of DOM elements and attach event handlers to them is still fiddly compared to the jQuery equivalent (eg. you have to write a loop, you can't natively map over
NodeLists, you might end up in closure/scope hell, all of which jQuery simplifies). Remy has a good blogpost about what to do post-jQuery.
I did debate in my class whether to teach jQuery – the reason I decided to was partly for the reasons above (eg. showing people how to bind events to elements becomes harder when you also have to explain what a
for loop is, and a
NodeList, and closures, and lexical