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<<Biblioteca Digital del Portal<<La Educación<<La Educación (120) I, 1995 <<Artículo
Colección:
La Educación
Número: (120) I
Año: 1995

Introduction

Education reform is becoming a primary issue for Latin American and Caribbean policy makers. The region’s rapid shift toward open economies, global competition, and democratic government has placed new demands on schools and highlighted their deficiencies. Countries need workers who have strong basic skills and can adapt to a changing labor market, and citizens who are better informed and capable of assuming new responsibilities. Schools are failing to produce either. Increasingly, leaders are concluding that fundamental educational reform is an essential condition for success in the emerging world system.

These were the conclusions of a one-day conference entitled “Putting Education First” that took place on November 15, 1994 in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue and the Inter-American Development Bank, the conference convened approximately 100 business leaders, government officials, and education specialists to discuss the economic and political arguments for educational reform and the chief obstacles that must be overcome. Participants included César Gaviria, Secretary General of the Organization of American States; Nancy Birdsall, Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank; Senator José Octavio Bordón of Argentina; Eduardo Doryan, Minister of Education of Costa Rica; Sebastián Edwards, Chief Economist for Latin America at the World Bank; Fernando Cepeda, former Colombian Ambassador to the United Nations; Ernesto Schiefelbein, Director of UNESCO’s Regional Education Office for Latin America and the Caribbean; Pablo Better, former Minister of Finance of Ecuador; Armando Montenegro, former Director of National Planning of Colombia; Simon Schwartzman, President of the Instituto Brasileiro Geográfico de Estatísticas; and Jonathan Coles, Chairman of Mavesa, S.A. in Caracas, Venezuela.

The meeting launched a major effort being organized by the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. and the Corporation for Development Research (CINDE) in Santiago, Chile to place education reform high on the policy agenda of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The project, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, The Canadian International Development Research Centre, the United States Agency for International Development, The GE Fund, and several other private foundations, seeks to mobilize a broader and more active constituency for education reform region wide.