Reducing inequality in education, the focus of a new agreement between the Organization of American States and UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education

The OAS and UNESCO agreed to a new programme to strengthen and leverage the support provided to the countries of the region in the areas of inequality and education on October 18, 2016, in Santiago de Chile. The joint actions that will be carried-out by the two organizations are motivated by the existing inequality within, and between countries of the hemisphere; its impact on quality education, the retention and completion of the school cycle, and the levels of learning achievements.

The agreement includes the development of research activities aimed at the implementation of the Inter-American Education System (SIE), promoting South-South cooperation among countries, the exchange of good practices for strengthening the teaching profession and institutions; the creation of contents for the virtual platform of the SIE, and the rigorous monitoring of educational progress by countries of the region, with a view to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda.

The agreement responds to the challenges facing the region by 2030, where there are still millions of boys, girls, youth and adults that do not adequately benefit from the education systems, compounded by significant numbers of school drop-outs as well as problems in accomplishing meaningful learning achievements. This scenario is closely linked to inequality, present throughout the region, and affects the educational opportunities of individuals, especially those affected by poverty, from rural areas, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendents, and those with disabilities.