22 de Marzo de 2019
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La Educación
Número: (132-133) I,II
Año: 1999

The 1998 Summit of the Americas and its Education Plan of Action

The hemispheric commitment to education, as expressed in the reform initiatives of the Santiago Plan of Action, covers all levels of national education systems and is based on a broad consensus on some basic issues to be addressed. These reform initiatives are founded on the principles of equity, quality, relevance, and efficiency.I would like to point out that it took a considerable amount of time and energy for the governments to agree on these guiding principles, which subsequently informed the preparatory activities of the Santiago Education Plan of Action.

In light of these guiding principles, when the Heads of State and Government met in Santiago they restated the education commitments of the Miami Summit.  They established the following goals: first, to assure, by the year 2010, universal access to quality primary education; second, to assure access of at least 75% of youth to secondary education; and third, to assure extension of lifelong learning opportunities for the population in general.

Major reform items of the Santiago Education Plan of Action include the following:

1. Establishment of new forms of compensatory education for at-risk groups, with special attention to children, women, minorities, and vulnerable populations. Equity is the major underlying principle of this line of action.

2. Establishment of quality assessment indicators and education evaluation systems. Quality is the main guiding criteria.

3. Teacher training and preparation of educational administrators. Quality, relevance, and efficiency are the underlying principles.

4. Strengthening of educational management, institutional capacity building, and community participation. Again, quality, relevance, and efficiency are major concerns.

5. Education for work and vocational training. Relevance and equity are the guiding criteria.

6. Bilingual and multicultural education, with emphasis on indigenous peoples. Relevance is the guiding principle is this line of action, together with equity.

7. Education for peace, democracy, human rights, gender, and the environment. Relevance and equity are major concerns.

8. Education and information technology. Efficiency is the major criteria.

9. Establishment of exchange visitor and scholarship programs for students, teachers, researchers, and educational administrators. Quality and efficiency are the major guiding criteria.