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Teachers: A Fundamental Factor in Student Learning

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By Federico Sucre and María Oviedo

On July 30th, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) launched the second release of results from the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE). Administered in 2013 to students in 15 Latin American countries and the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, TERCE assessed the performance of third and sixth grade students in mathematics and language (reading and writing), and of sixth grade students in natural sciences. Read more

Why Should We Study Ecuador’s Education Reform?

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By Pablo Cevallos Estarellas*

Discussions of recent education reforms in Latin America seldom mention Ecuador. Since 2007, this South American republic of approximately 15 million people has attempted a profound reform of its school system, and managed some interesting successes. But it remains one of the least observed and least researched educational reforms in Latin America. The Ecuadorian case should be studied because we can all learn from it, for at least three reasons. Read more

Learning for All: An Urgent Challenge in Latin America

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By Maria Oviedo, Ariel Fiszbein and Federico Sucre

In the last 15 years, education in Latin America has experienced mixed progress. While the region has made important achievements with regard to school enrollment rates for children and youth, learning levels continue to be extremely low. Additional years of schooling are not resulting in higher learning or more skills. This document presents a brief introduction to these trends. Read more

Computers in Primary Education. Be careful!!!

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By Eduardo Velez Bustillo

In the early 1980s my colleagues at Instituto SER de Investigación in Colombia were working with Seymour Papert, then Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They were applying Logo (Logo Programing Language) among primary education rural students in Nemocón, Colombia. Seymour was also one of the principals for the One Laptop Per Child initiative, and started what today is the MIT media lab. In fact, he is one of the fathers of education technology. Papert created Logo as a tool that can, in principle, be used by educators to improve the way children think and solve problems. For many years, studies on the cognitive and social benefits of Logo, however, have produced conflicting results. Read more

The State of Teacher Policies in El Salvador

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In El Salvador, Teachers’ Day, celebrated on June 22nd, is a time to reflect on the importance of teaching—a profession that is crucial to the integral development of people and societies. In this context, on June 23rd, the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), with support from the Inter-American Dialogue’s Education Program and the Inter-American Development Bank, presented the report “The State of Teacher Policies in El Salvador.” This effort is part of a regional project that seeks to strengthen teaching in order to improve education quality. Read more

Behavioral Insights for Education Policy

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By James Walsh and Varun Gauri

In Colombia, school attendance for young kids is very high. Bolstered by a conditional cash transfer program, virtually all students between the age of 5 and 13 enroll in school. But rates fall as children enter their teens. By the time they are 17, one in five kids have dropped out. Read more

Education Reform in Mexico: Is It at Risk?

By Maria Oviedo

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The quality of Mexico’s education system is deficient. In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluations of 2012, Mexico ranked 53 out of the 65 countries that participated in the examinations, and last out of the 35 participating OCDE countries. 55% of students in Mexico did not reach a basic competency level (Level 2) in Math, while 41% and 47% did not achieve basic proficiency in Language and Science, respectively. Read more

Committed to Improving the Quality of Education

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It is an honor to announce the appointment of Alejandro Ganimian as a Non-Resident Fellow of the Education Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. The following is an interview between our Director Ariel Fiszbein (AF) and Ganimian (AG). Read more

Mexico’s Energy Reform: Bridging the Skills Gap

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By Rebecca O’Connor and Lisa Viscidi

Firms across Latin America are complaining about the difficulties of recruiting workers with the technical skills their businesses demand. Lack of adequate skills is becoming a bottleneck for growth in technologically complex industries, harming government efforts to increase investment in strategic sectors of the economy. In Mexico, the energy reform creates opportunities to generate new jobs and educate and train workers in specialized skillsets, but the country will also face challenges in meeting additional demand for skilled labor.

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Education as a Priority in Public Administration

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Federico Sucre (FS), Program Assistant of the education program at the Inter-American Dialogue, interviews Juan Maragall (JM), Secretary of Education of the state of Miranda in Venezuela. Read more

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