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In conjunction with the release of the second Education Report Card on the Dominican Republic on November 9, the Dominican television program Uno+Uno interviewed PREAL Co-director Jeffrey Puryear on the subject of education quality.
Puryear emphasized the critical role of teachers in improving student learning and called on the Dominican Republica and other Latin American countries to seek out the best and the brightest. “A [teaching] degree is not enough,” he stated. “We must first recruit very motivated and talented teachers and not recruit the lowest-performing applicants.”
He also noted that the most successful education systems have longer school days than those common in Latin America – generally six to eight hours each day. They also place special emphasis on under-achieving students by recognizing them early and providing extra support to help them catch up.
While calling for these and other changes, Puryear recognized that education reform is politically challenging. However, he maintained that governments, civil society, and parents must work to ensure a quality education for Latin America’s children. “Education policy does not change from one day to the next; it is a medium and long-term effort. It is a struggle in which we must persevere.”
Video can be viewed on HoyDigital.