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PREAL co-director Marcela Gajardo joined leaders from throughout Latin America to promote sound education policy at the United for Education Forum in Panama last week. The event, which was organized in partnership with PREAL, attracted more than 250 participants, including Minister of Education Lucy Molinar and other government leaders, school administrators, teachers, academics, representatives of NGOs, business leaders, and journalists.
The forum embodied the primary goal of United for Education to bring together the many parties committed to improving education in order to share ideas and promote policy change. Gajardo, who is also a member of UNESCO’s Global Education for All (EFA) Advisory Board, joined María Eugenia Paniagua, Secretary General of the Central American Education and Cultural Coordination (CECC/SICA), to discuss the valuable information contained in the EFA Global Monitoring Reports. Additionally, representatives from Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia discussed the vital role of civil society in evaluating national education policies. Finally, a panel of Panamanian education leaders discussed the implications of these international efforts for their country.
United for Education emerged out of a collaborative study carried out in 2009 to analyze common threads of purpose in Panama’s education initiatives. Researchers distinguished four key objectives of education reform: 1) improve the equity of access to education, 2) raise the quality of learning, 3) strengthen the teaching profession, and 4) improve administration of and investment in education. United for Education formed to bring these objectives to the forefront of public debate and to make education a top national priority.
News articles on the forum:
- Realizan Foro internacional Unidos por la Educación – by Elkiriam Caballero, October 4, TVNnoticias
- ‘Unidos por la Educación’ pretende centralizar iniciativas educativas – by Rosalía Simmons, October 4, Prensa.com