Promoting education throughout life as a “fundamental right” and ending illiteracy, which affects 27.5 million people in Latin America, are priorities of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) on the occasion of International Education Day, which is celebrated this Tuesday.
With the motto this year of “Investing in people, prioritizing education”, the United Nations Organization (UN) warns that 771 million adults are illiterate in the world. Of these, 15.1 million men and 12.4 million women are Latin American.
Thus, in a statement, the OEI for Education, Science and Culture reaffirms the importance of investing in education “promoting public-private partnerships, international cooperation and the involvement of civil society”.
“In a region like Ibero-America, which is advancing towards universal early childhood literacy and which already exceeds 30 million university students (…), it is still necessary to promote education and literacy of adults in vulnerable conditions both in rural areas as urban”, emphasizes the OEI.
This is a “still pending” debt with the region, especially after the coronavirus crisis, which highlighted the digital and educational gap present at all levels.
In the case of the adult indigenous population of Latin America, recalls the OEI, “low educational achievements” can still be detected.
Almost 70% have managed to complete primary education, while barely half have reached basic secondary studies, and just over 30% have completed their baccalaureate, according to the study “The crossroads of education in Latin America and Caribbean. UNESCO regional monitoring report ODS4-Education 2030”.
“From the OEI we make a call to join regional efforts that lead to the investment of more resources in educational programs and actions throughout life”, emphasizes the general secretary of the OEI, Mariano Jabonero.
He argues that training in all stages of life is a “fundamental opportunity to reduce inequalities, promote inclusion and commit to full human development” for Ibero-Americans.
The OEI has focused its efforts on reaffirming the idea of lifelong education in Latin America, a concept that is beginning to be developed in public policies in the region, but still faces significant challenges for its implementation, according to the statement.
To this end, the organization participates in relevant international forums such as the International Conference on Adult Education (Confintea), where it seeks to highlight the value of lifelong learning as a driver of development and equity in Latin America.