On Friday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented "The Crossroads of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean", a report assessing progress towards compliance with the 2030 sustainable development agenda.
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The UNESCO report found that most countries in the region have experienced a setback in terms of educational inclusion, equity, and quality. This situation is not attributable solely to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it worsened the pedagogical processes on the continent.
“Between 2015 and 2020, enrollment in preschool education increased by 2.1 million boys and girls, faster than in previous years. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have observed that early childhood has not been prioritized, putting these advances at risk,” UNICEF Deputy Regional Director Rada Noeva said, as reported by El Pais.
Over that period, 15 LATAM countries have reduced their public investment in education. As a result of the above, regional education spending went from 4.5 percent in 2015 to 4.3 percent in 2019, measured with respect to the regional gross domestic product (GDP).
"This stagnation intensified with the COVID-19 crisis, which in 2020 alone brought an economic contraction of 7.7 percent of GDP," the UNESCO report added.
A notable exception to the worsening of national educational systems is in Cuba, a Caribbean country that has managed to maintain over 90 percent in gross enrollment rate in early childhood education development programs.
“Cuba is recognized worldwide for its universal family-oriented program ‘Educate Your Child’,” Prensa Latina outlet recalled, pointed out the high professionalism of Cuban teachers, who receive permanent training to improve their pedagogical performance.