24 de Marzo de 2019
Portal Educativo de las Américas
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La Educación
Número: (132-133) I,II
Año: 1999


1. There is a growing consensus in the Americas that globalization offers great opportunities for progress and opens up new areas of cooperation for the hemispheric community.  Responding to these new opportunities requires training in issues that are central to the processes of integration and development in the Americas.  The very nature of this training requires - or could benefit significantly from - inter-American public-private partnerships in order to improve the quality, reduce the costs and shorten the lead-time for such activities.  For the same reasons, it requires an expanded use of new information technology.

2. Education has been identified by the OAS member states as key to integration,  sustainable and equitable development, and the strengthening of democracy.  Globalization and accelerated technical change have accentuated the need to balance competitiveness with equity.  The new economy tends to strengthen the income advantages of the well-trained and segregate from the labor market those with little or no skills.  As a result, many countries are seeing the growing success of well-educated young entrepreneurs accompanied by increasing unemployment and poverty among the less educated youth.

3. In this context, the last decade has seen the development of a social consensus and an explicit recognition by both the public and private sectors of the growing importance of education and training for work as key instruments for the simultaneous achievement of equity and competitiveness.  Education and new information technology are seen by many as the great equalizers in modern society, as they create opportunities for continuous learning, self employment, and small business development.

4. Training for work has acquired new characteristics in the current technical and economic context, in part due to the increasing importance of self-employment and participation in small business development as alternatives to traditional forms of employment.  This and the accelerating rate of technical obsolescence of acquired  knowledge and educational systems, combined with the growing cost of education in a context of a decreasing role of the State, has led to the search for new  approaches to improve education and training, in particular those that better complement  private and public sector resources and capabilities.

5. A shared awareness of the urgency of this task and of the limitations of traditional approaches to training and education has led to an expansion of public-private partnerships for training in many other parts of the world as well, and to the search for new ways of organizing, conducting and financing education.