<<Biblioteca Digital del Portal<<Tendencias para un Futuro Común<<Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas
Colección: Trends for a common future
Autor: Noel F. McGinn
Título: Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas
The current situation in the Americas is at least in part the consequence of recent experiences with international cooperation. In education, profound problems continue even after 30 years of “development” and development assistance. This suggests two possibilities: 1) the forms and content of recent forms of international cooperation have contributed to the intractability of the problems of education in Latin America and the Caribbean; or 2) international cooperation has made only minor contributions to the improvement (as distinct from expansion) of education. It may be that particular forms of cooperation have carried high opportunity costs: the continued reliance of many countries in the region on external assistance represents a failure to develop endogenous capacity for the improvement of education.
It would be a mistake to condemn all varieties of cooperation, however. No country in modern times has developed on its own and all countries have benefited from relationships with others. But cooperation is neither a simple, nor an unchanging concept. Earlier forms of cooperation were highly beneficial, but were replaced by other forms that had deleterious effects. The paper identifies the negative aspects of recent forms of cooperation, and recommends alternatives that are more salubrious.
International cooperation is defined as association between countries for mutual benefit. “Countries”, however, are made up of a variety of social actors acting in time and space. Cooperation “between countries” occurs not just in relationships between governments, but also between governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations and governments, international organizations and NGOs, and between NGOs. Over time and especially in recent years not only have new actors appeared on the stage of international cooperation changed, but also older actors have changed their roles and goals.
Cooperation takes two major forms: aid (and assistance), which involve a one-way flow of resources, information, ideas, personnel, from one country (or international organization) to another country; and collaboration, in which countries share resources, ideas, information and personnel in carrying out some task. Over the past 40 years aid has come to obscure collaboration, and particular varieties of aid have had pronounced effects on national education policies.
Mounting evidence of the limited effectiveness of some varieties of aid, and the scent of new possibilities carried on the winds of globalization, are the subject of this paper. The objective is to suggest alternative forms for the provision of aid, and different ways in which countries can collaborate with each other. In preparation for this, the paper first reviews how cooperation has changed over time, and then passes to the current state of education in the Americas. Next, the paper reviews critically several different forms of cooperation, and then considers the effects of globalization. The paper ends with a description of alternative ways to provide aid that would contribute to greater collaboration among the countries of the Americas. Examples are provided of strategies to realize key priorities in education.1