Colección: La Educación
Número: (132-133) I,II
Partnership initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean: Past experience
The institutional networking by the OAS that took place as part of this initiative over the last two years provides evidence of both long standing and more recent innovative partnerships for education in the developing countries of the Americas.
The starting point was a review of 30 well established business-education partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean conducted in 19971 which set out the firm conviction of business leaders that education could be improved and schools for the poor made better. The accumulated experience suggested that improving education was good for business and for the countries and that the business sector offered education more than money, by promoting innovation in schools, establishing private foundations and sharing management expertise.
The study also concluded that different approaches for private sector involvement have proven to be valid, from direct aid to specific schools to influencing educational policy change. Commitment, government cooperation and professional educational approaches are needed for success and much remains to be done. Business-education partnerships are still uncommon and their potential impact is still largely unrealized. The study recommended expanding the exchange of experiences within the Americas and with other regions of the world, measuring results and impact, and moving from support for individual schools to overall institutional reform.
Contacts with partnering institutions in the Hemisphere lead to the identification of a number of more recent, very innovative and potentially significant approaches to partnership. They range from partnerships to provide training and curriculum support through the Internet for all primary teachers in one country to the creation of a center to train operators, supervisors and professionals for the paper industry of various countries.
Other approaches include an integrated program that provides tutorials for students, training for teachers and new technology to administrators of primary schools in an entire state as well as a consortia of business and education to train young workers for many industries in a particular city.