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

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EDUCATION: Secondary Education

  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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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).



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