Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
     
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates
 

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EDUCATION
MANDATES

  1. To promote and encourage comprehensive, timely, and quality public policies on:

    1. Early childhood care, education, and development.
    2. Protecting children from economic exploitation and from any tasks that may interfere with their education and integral development, according to the principle of the effective abolition of child labor, which is contained in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998); as well as preventing and eradicating the worst forms of child labor according to Convention 182 of the ILO (1999)
    3. Raising awareness about the adverse effects of adolescent pregnancies on the integral development of the adolescent and their offspring, as well as fostering their health and well-being.(Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To combat poverty, extreme poverty, hunger, inequality, inequity, and social exclusion through public policies that promote decent, dignified, and productive work; sustained economic growth; income growth; and access to comprehensive and quality education, health care, and housing, in order to achieve sustainable development with social justice in the Americas (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To ensure equal access to primary and secondary education for all, to promote improvement in the quality of education at all levels, increased access to tertiary, technical, and vocational education, as soon as possible, with particular attention to vulnerable groups and those with special education needs, using, inter alia, the modality of distance learning, and to promote strengthening of literacy programs. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To foster greater international exchange of students, in order to provide them with the greatest possible learning opportunities. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To deepen inter-American cooperation in the area of development and social protection with a view to strengthening human and institutional capacity-building efforts, and generating a skilled workforce, with a gender perspective and giving attention to vulnerable groups. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To take specific steps to improve access to quality education for girls, especially in rural areas, as well as promoting improved capacities of schools, teachers, civil society, and communities to reduce the barriers to regular attendance for women and girls. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To develop and strengthen, as appropriate, strategies and policies on youth employment, as well as to promote technical and vocational education and training opportunities in order to improve and increase the entry of young people into the labor market, the quality and stability of their jobs, as well as their social protection. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To foster participation and collaboration between the public and private sectors, social actors and communities to promote initiatives, in accordance with corresponding domestic legal frameworks, which enable our educational centers and health facilities, including in remote and rural areas, to enjoy equitable and affordable access to, and use of, expanded broadband, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and computers. (Access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To promote and establish, as appropriate, programs to encourage the training of teachers for the inclusion and effective use of ICTs in education, and for the production and sharing of relevant educational materials in each country. (Access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To promote the more intensive application of ICTs in health, with a view to improving the efficiency of our countries’ health information systems, including accurate record keeping, and of subregional and regional alert systems for public health events of international concern; the expansion of continuing education programs for health workers and the population; and access to information on health services in those centers and communities that need it the most. (Access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To strengthen the administration of public security by governmental agencies through promotion of citizen and community participation, institutional coordination, and training and education of civilian and police personnel, with full respect for the rule of law, domestic law, gender equality, and human rights. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. We affirm that equal access to education is a human right and that quality education is essential, a public good and a priority. Therefore, we will continue promoting access to quality education for all. We also recognise that improving access to and the quality of early childhood education is a key factor in achieving universal primary education by 2015. Recognising that investing in quality care and education from birth through the early years of primary education improves learning, social, health and employment outcomes, we take note of the Hemispheric Commitment to Early Childhood Education adopted by the Ministers of Education in 2007. We call upon the Ministers of Education to increase efforts to measure educational progress in the Americas by the year 2010, both within our individual countries and through multilateral initiatives such as the Regional Educational Indicators Project (PRIE) (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving a gross secondary education enrolment rate of at least 75% by the year 2010 and we call on the Ministers of Education, with the support of the OAS, specialised international and regional institutions and civil society organisations, to develop strategies to make quality secondary education accessible to all our young people by 2015, especially the most vulnerable groups and those with special education needs. These strategies should be based on the principles of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency in education, taking into account the gender perspective and student diversity, and should also encourage innovation and creativity (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. Recognising that education is a lifelong process that promotes social inclusion and democratic citizenship and allows people to contribute fully to the development of society, we will give high priority to improving and expanding literacy, numeracy and science proficiency, as well as access to tertiary, technical-vocational and adult education. We intend to increase the tertiary education participation rate to a minimum of 40 per cent by 2020 and urge countries which have already made considerable advances in this area to exchange best practices that will support the efforts of other countries to achieve this target. We commit to support the initial preparation and ongoing professional development of teachers (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognize the essential role of life-long learning opportunities, especially technical and professional training of our population. Investing in knowledge, skills, capacities, and abilities facilitates access and re-entry to the labor force, supports personal and professional development, and maximizes economic productivity and institutional strengthening (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We support the recommendations contained in the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Fourth Meeting of Ministers of Education, held in Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago, August 10-12, 2005. We will strive for quality public education at all levels and promote literacy to ensure a democratic citizenry, foster decent work, fight poverty, and achieve greater social inclusion. Achieving these goals requires a substantial financial investment by our governments and international financial institutions. We note with satisfaction the suggestion of the Ministers of Education that our governments explore innovative forms of increasing financing for education with international financing institutions, such as debt swaps for investment in education (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We understand that the potential for developing the capacity of our citizenry and attaining greater productivity depends on a well-educated and well-trained labor force. In this sense, we recognize the advances made in increasing access to education and we reiterate the need to expand coverage, improve quality, strengthen the teaching profession, and improve the efficiency of our education systems. We reiterate the importance of incorporating new information and communication technologies in the training of our citizenry to increase their productivity (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To encourage, as appropriate, with the corresponding educational authorities, the inclusion in educational curricula the study of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the dimensions of decent work, bearing in mind the approach of the ILO .(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To promote efforts to ensure, by 2010, completion of quality primary school education for all children, and promote the setting of goals, before 2007, for the completion of quality middle-school education. (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To develop, within the framework of the OAS, before 2008, the study of a literacy program, taking into account successful experiences in order to advance towards the eradication of illiteracy in our countries (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To promote, within the framework of the OAS, the exchange of experiences for the implementation of electronic education programs articulating means, resources, and tools aimed at strengthening and enriching the educational processes in schools, including the use of new information and communication technologies.(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Education is a decisive factor for human development, because of its impact on the political, social, cultural, economic, and democratic life of our societies. The increasing rates of illiteracy in many of the states of our Hemisphere are a matter which demands our immediate action. We commit to continue promoting access to quality basic education for all, based on the principles of participation, equity, relevance, and efficiency that generate the necessary capabilities and skills to foster the development process of our peoples without discrimination or exclusion of any kind and thereby respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004)

  1. We commit to increase access to and dissemination of information concerning our educational systems with the objective of improving their performance. In this regard, we reiterate our commitment to continue implementation of the Regional Education Indicators Project, endorsed during the Third Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education, held in Mexico City. In particular, each country that has not yet done so will develop and publicly disseminate by the next Summit a report based on the education goals of the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas, with the objective of fostering its use as a decision-making tool to evaluate and improve results (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. .Progress towards more democratic societies, growing economies and social equity relies on an educated citizenry and a skilled labor force. We have agreed to a series of policies to improve access to quality education through teacher training, education in civic values and the use of information technologies both in our classrooms and in measuring progress toward achieving these goals. Improved education policies and increased investment in our education systems will help reduce income disparities and close the digital divide in our Hemisphere (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing that education is the key to strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the development of human potential, equality and understanding among our peoples, as well as sustaining economic growth and reducing poverty; further recognizing that to achieve these ends, it is essential that quality education is available to all, including girls and women, rural inhabitants, persons with disabilities, indigenous, and persons belonging to minorities; reaffirming the commitments made at previous Summits to promote the principles of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency at all levels of the education system and ensure, by 2010, universal access to and completion of quality primary education for all children and to quality secondary education for at least 75 percent of young people, with increasing graduation rates and lifelong learning opportunities for the general population; and also reaffirming the commitment to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005:(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Entrust the OAS to organize, within the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), a meeting of Ministers of Education in Uruguay, to be held before the end of 2001, with a mandate to:

    • identify and set up appropriate hemispheric mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the education initiatives in this Plan of Action and to continue to promote actions on priorities identified in previous Summits based on a careful evaluation of our collective achievements in this area;
    • establish time lines and benchmarks for follow-up on the implementation of our commitments in education;
    • establish, in light of the fundamental importance of mobilizing resources to support sustained investment in education at all levels, a cooperative mechanism to promote the development of productive partnerships among governments and with regional and international organizations and the MDBs;
    • promote the participation of and dialogue with relevant civil society organizations to strengthen partnerships between the public sector and other sectors of our societies in implementing this Plan of Action;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Formulate and implement policies, within the framework of a strategy for resolving social inequalities, to promote access to quality basic education for all, including early childhood and adult education, particularly to promote literacy, while providing for alternative methods that meet the needs of disadvantaged segments of the population or of those excluded from formal education systems, in particular girls, minorities, indigenous, and children with special education needs; share information and successful experiences in encouraging educational participation and addressing student retention within certain groups, especially boys -in particular in the Caribbean countries - whose drop-out rate at the secondary level is high in certain regions;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support and promote lifelong learning by:

    • offering varied curricula based on the development of skills, knowledge, civic and democratic values;
    • providing flexible service delivery mechanisms, including the use of information and communications technologies, to foster employability, personal growth and social commitment; and
    • certifying skills acquired on the job; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Strengthen education systems by:

    • encouraging the participation of all sectors of society in order to obtain a consensus on policies that are viable and that guarantee the appropriate and continuous distribution of resources;
    • decentralizing their decision-making and promoting the participation of civil society, especially parents; and
    • promoting transparent school management in the interest of securing an adequate and stable allocation of resources so that educational institutions can play a leading role as agents for change;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Enhance the performance of teachers by:

    • improving their conditions of service; and
    • raising the profile of the profession by providing, in addition to solid initial preparation, opportunities for ongoing professional development, and by designing accessible, flexible, dynamic and relevant training strategies using, among other means, new information and communications technologies;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support ongoing regional projects for comparable indicators and educational assessment resulting from the Santiago Summit, including cooperation initiatives based on performance assessment programs regarding educational processes and achievement, taking into consideration studies in pedagogy and assessment practices previously developed by countries; develop comparable indicators to assess the services provided by each country to people with special education needs and promote the exchange of information on policies, strategies and best practices in the Americas;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Strive to ensure that secondary education is more responsive to evolving labor market requirements by promoting the diversification of programs and experimentation with new, more flexible teaching methods with emphasis on science and technology, including the use of new information and communications technologies, and by supporting the establishment of mechanisms for the recognition and certification of acquired skills; and to this end, promote the exchange of information and best practices and support cooperation projects;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote more effective dialogue between society and institutions of higher education, and facilitate access for all to these institutions by balancing growing demand with higher quality standards and public funding with greater commitment from the private sector; support hemispheric cooperation for research in science and technology aimed at the solution of specific problems in the region and the transfer of knowledge;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support the mobility, between countries of the Hemisphere, of students, teachers and administrators at institutions of higher education and of teachers and administrators at the elementary and secondary levels, in order to provide them with new opportunities to take part in the new knowledge based society, to increase their knowledge of other cultures and languages, and to enable them to access information on post-secondary studies and learning opportunities offered across the Hemisphere, through new or existing hemispheric networks, such as the educational Web site set up after the Santiago Summit; continue to support initiatives in this field such as those carried out by the IDB and the OAS;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote access by teachers, students and administrators to new information and communications technologies applied to education, through training geared toward new teaching approaches, support for development of networks and sustained strengthening of information clearinghouses, in order to reduce the knowledge gap and the digital divide within and between societies in the Hemisphere;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. The strengthening of democracy, political dialogue, economic stability, progress towards social justice, the extent to which our trade liberalization policies coincide, and the will to expedite a process of ongoing Hemispheric integration have made our relations more mature. We will redouble our efforts to continue reforms designed to improve the living conditions of the peoples of the Americas and to achieve a mutually supportive community. For this reason, we have decided that education is a key theme and is of particular importance in our deliberations. We approve the attached Plan of Action and undertake to carry out its initiatives (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. Education is the determining factor for the political, social, cultural, and economic development of our peoples. We undertake to facilitate access of all inhabitants of the Americas to preschool, primary, secondary, and higher education, and we will make learning a lifelong process. We will put science and technology at the service of education to assure growing levels of knowledge and so that educators may develop their skills to the highest level. The Plan of Action that accompanies this Declaration defines the objectives and goals we intend to achieve and the actions that will make them a reality. In order to meet our goals within the agreed timeframes, we reaffirm our commitment to invest greater resources in this important area, and to encourage civil society to participate in developing education (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. The decisions adopted by our Ministers of Education at the Conference held in Mérida, Mexico, last February, reflect our desire to promote specific joint initiatives designed to improve access to education, with fairness, quality, relevancy, and effectiveness. In order to consolidate and lend continuity to our decisions, we have instructed that another Conference be held in Brasilia, Brazil, in July of this year (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. The Hemisphere's commitment to education is reflected in the sweeping reform processes encompassing all levels of educational systems, and is based on broad consensus with respect to the problems confronting education and the shared commitment and effort of societies as a whole to overcome them. These processes are based on the principles of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency. Equity is defined as the creation of conditions that ensure that all people have the opportunity to receive quality education services; thereby significantly reducing the effects of inequalities based on socio-economic status, disability and ethnic, cultural and gender discrimination. Quality implies the achievement of high levels of cognitive development, skills, capabilities and ethical attitudes. Relevance is defined as the ability of an educational system to meet the needs and aspirations of society as a whole, taking into account its social, cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Lastly, efficiency is defined as the provision of adequate resources, used optimally, in order to enhance educational achievements. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Therefore, the Governments, fully recognizing and respecting national sovereignty and the responsibilities of the institutions of our respective countries with regard to education, reiterate the commitment of the Miami Summit to ensure, by the year 2010, universal access to and completion of quality primary education for 100 percent of children and access for at least 75 percent of young people to quality secondary education, with increasing percentages of young people who complete secondary education, and assume responsibility for providing the general population with opportunities for life-long learning. If these objectives are met, we are confident that we will provide our people with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary for and suited to the development of capabilities that ensure better conditions of competitiveness and productivity required by modern economies, thus allowing our people to contribute as worthy citizens to their respective societies. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Implement targeted and inter-sectoral educational policies, as necessary, and develop programs that focus specifically on groups at a disadvantage in the areas of education, functional illiteracy and socio-economic conditions, with attention to women, minorities and vulnerable populations. Inter-sectoral programs in education, health and nutrition, as well as early childhood educational strategies, will be priorities, inasmuch as they contribute more directly to plans to combat poverty. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Establish or strengthen national or subnational and, where applicable, subregional systems to evaluate the quality of education, which permit assessment of the performance of various educational actors, innovations and factors associated with achievements in learning. To that end, information and national or subnational or, where applicable, subregional indicators will be made available that can be used to design, carry out and evaluate quality-improvement programs based on equity. Standards for reading and writing, mathematics and science shall receive special attention. Also, where appropriate, criteria and methodologies for collecting data that permit comparison of some educational indicators across countries in the Hemisphere shall be established. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Develop comprehensive programs to improve and increase the level of professionalism among teachers and school administrators that combine pre-service and in-service training, exploring incentive mechanisms tied to updating their skills and to meeting such standards as may have been agreed upon. Higher education must collaborate in this endeavor through research and pedagogy, both of which should be strengthened in order to meet this goal. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Strengthen education management and institutional capacity at the national, regional, local and school levels, furthering, where appropriate, decentralization and the promotion of better forms of community and family involvement. Encourage the mass media to contribute to bolstering efforts being made by educational systems. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Strengthen preparation, education and training for the world of work so that an increasing number of workers can improve their standard of living and, together with employers, have the opportunity to benefit from hemispheric integration. In this regard, consideration will be given to the adoption of new technology based on different options and alternatives, ranging from specific occupational training to strengthening general employability competencies. Special attention will also be paid to the establishment or strengthening of mechanisms that permit workers to obtain certification of job-related competencies acquired through formal education and work experience. In order to confront changes in the labor market and to enhance employability prospects, actions that take into account the development of entrepreneurial skills will be included and will involve the different sectors and offer various options and alternatives. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Establish or improve, according to their internal legal framework, educational strategies relevant to multicultural societies, so as to be able to shape, with the participation of indigenous populations and migrants, models for bilingual and intercultural basic education. Similarly, the content of basic education will have to be enhanced, together with respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity of peoples, as well as to expand the knowledge of the different languages spoken in the countries of the Hemisphere, where resources and possibilities permit. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Develop, within and outside schools, with the assistance of families and other actors and social organizations, educational strategies that foster the development of values, with special attention to the inclusion of democratic principles, human rights, gender-related issues, peace, tolerance and respect for the environment and natural resources. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Promote access to and use of the most effective information and communication technologies in education systems, with special emphasis on the use of computers, in combination with revised pedagogical methods and proper training for teachers in the use of these technologies. Special attention shall be paid to the ethical imperative of including the most vulnerable sectors. To that end, distance education programs shall be strengthened and information networks established. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Make efforts to increase the availability of teaching materials in collaboration with official institutions and, depending on the specific conditions in each country, with the private sector. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Seek to use technology to link schools and communities as a way of establishing ties in the Hemisphere while encouraging the participation of higher education institutions that have advantages in this field. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Further scholarship and exchange programs for students, teachers, researchers and educational administrators using different strategies, including institution-to-institution ties, communications technology and internships which permit exposure to pedagogical and management innovations in the other countries of the Hemisphere. This will contribute to strengthening the institutional capacity of Ministries or Departments of Education, decentralized administrative entities and centers of higher learning. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. We, the Heads of State and Government, recognizing the cardinal importance of education as a foundation for development, agree, in accordance with our respective legislative processes, to promote allocation of the resources necessary for educational expenditure with a view to attaining greater levels of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency in the educational processes, emphasizing the optimal use of resources and a greater participation of other social actors. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • Initiative 5. Encourage changes in educational and communication policies, guidelines, and curricula to include instruction in sustainable development tailored to the different needs and realities of the Hemisphere, taking into account, where appropriate, multicultural and multilingual realities, and ensuring that they contribute to developing a social awareness of sustainable development. To this end, it is important to foster and create networks and mechanisms related to the exchange of experiences, teaching resources, and innovations in education and communication on this subject.(Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • 16.1 Universal literacy and access to education at all levels, without distinction by race, national origin or gender, are an indispensable basis for sustainable social and cultural development, economic growth and democratic stability.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.2 Guarantee universal access to quality primary education, working with public and private sectors and non-governmental actors, and with the support of multinational institutions. In particular, governments will seek to attain by the year 2010 a primary completion rate of 100 per cent and a secondary enrollment rate of at least 75 per cent, and to prepare programs to eradicate illiteracy, prevent truancy and improve human resources training.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.3 Promote, with the support of international financial institutions and the private sector, worker professional training as well as adult education, incorporating efforts to make such education more relevant to the needs of the market and employers.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.4 Improve human resources training, and technical, professional and teacher training, which are vital for the enhancement of quality and equity of education within the Hemisphere.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.5 Increase access to and strengthen the quality of higher education and promote cooperation among such institutions in producing the scientific and technological knowledge that is necessary for sustainable development.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.6 Support strategies to overcome nutritional deficiencies of primary school children in order to enhance their learning ability.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.7 Support decentralization including assurance of adequate financing and broad participation by parents, educators, community leaders and government officials in education decision-making.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.8 Review existing regional and hemispheric training programs and make them more responsive to current needs.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.9 Create a hemispheric partnership, working through existing organizations, to provide a consultative forum for governments, non-governmental actors, the business community, donors, and international organizations to reform educational policies and focus resources more efficiently.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 16.10 Urge the March 1995 World Summit for Social Development and the September 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women to address the issue of universal access to education.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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