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Documentos Institucionales

Educational goals for 2021

Metas Educativas 2021



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The presentation of this “2021 Educational Goals”, culminates the first chapter of the project by the governments and society and initiates the last and definitive chapter: the layout of actions that in a sustained and stable manner should result in all countries achieving the goals that they themselves have set forth. Its reports will enable us to see the progress made and show the achievements attained and will also contribute to shed light into the insufficiencies and to redouble the efforts and to reorient the process if it were necessary.

It’s a broadly accepted project that has generated great expectations among countries, governments, social groups and citizens that believe in the transforming capacity of education and that consider that we are in a decisive decade to settle historic debts contracted with millions of persons. It is, no doubt, a time of hope, but also of responsibility and commitment for an Ibero-American community built on freedom, equality and development.

On May 19th, 2008, at El Salvador, the Ministers of Education adopted a decision that would be considered historical: to undertake the project “2021 Educational Goals: the education we want for the bicentennial generations”. The moment chosen to undertake this is not coincidental. The project was presented at the threshold of the decade of the celebration of the bicentennial of the independence of several Ibero-American countries, and was done so with the intent of making the most of the motivation that such historic anniversaries of such magnitude were to generate in Ibero-American societies.

Its objectives are extremely ambitious: improve quality and equality in education to face poverty and inequality, and thus, advance social inclusion. The project was to address with determination, and once and for all, unsolved challenges: illiteracy, early school desertion, child labor, low educational performance of students and low quality of public education. It was intended to do so with the will to face, at the same time, the demands of a demanding information and knowledge society: inclusion of ICT in teaching and learning, fostering innovation and creativity, development of research and scientific progress. It was necessary to walk fast and bravely to be in the first wagons of the train of the XXI century history. From its outset we thought that the project could not be reduced, only, to the formulation of educational goals, albeit necessary and opportune, but should also aim at achieving an unavoidable social transformation that would be instrumental to the success of the educational effort. We consider that it is then, necessary, to collaborate with the countries to achieve their goals and promote a shared group action program that will help with their objectives. Fairer education demands greater social equity and greater level of culture, aspiration that, although it is that of all citizens, intends to be especially aimed at those groups that have been forgotten for so many years: ethnic minorities, indigenous people and afro descendents, women and rural area residents. This concern led to the approval of a commitment to create a solidarity fund for the educational cooperation that would complement the economic efforts of region´s poorer countries and areas to achieve the goals agreed on. Thus, all countries would feel part of a joint project and would value being part of the Ibero-American community of nations.

During the initial discussion of the document we mentioned that the project could not result, only, from the agreement of the governments and of its ministers of education. We mentioned that it was also necessary to engage civil society and take into account its proposals and aspirations and to achieve, through its active participation, a greater commitment in strengthening education and the goals. The debate held and the publication of the opinions stated during the same support this initial desire, today more so than then.

Likewise, over these two years the project has increased its social underpinning and reliability. The debate on each one of the goals has defined and enriched its scope and its meaning. Also, the work of each country has made the achievement of the objectives and financial commitments possible. In the process, alliances with international organizations, with civil society and different sectors of the educational communities have been formed and strengthened. We are, without a doubt, facing a joint project of the Ibero-American society. We also set out to analyze the budget requirements of the goals and did so thoroughly. The edition of the document regarding its costs made it patent that the goals were possible and the time frame in which to reach them provided an invaluable opportunity due to the simultaneous presence of favorable factors as much so in the demographic, as well as economic and social area. Its timing with the bicentennials reinforced even more the possibilities of recovering the time wasted.

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