A Critique of UNESCO’s Proposal on Education After 2015

Written by Ariel Fiszbein, director of the education program at the Dialogue, and Eduardo Vélez Bustillo, independent consultant on PREAL blog

“Since the early sixties (at the conference of Addis Ababa), and with the best intentions, the international community has been setting goals to solve educational problems in developing countries. Unfortunately, and for various reasons, these have not been met. Even the most recently agreed targets in the Millennium Development Goals, which should be achieved next year, will not be met. In fact, 54 countries will not have achieved universal primary education by the end of 2015.

As is well known, the coverage problems (which are less serious in Latin America compared to other regions of the world) coexist with serious quality deficits. To put it bluntly, school coverage increases but learning does not. The magnitude of the challenges, and the difficulties to achieve the targets set in the past, should lead us to be rigorous and cautious when setting new goals.”

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