Yellow umbrellas have become the symbol in the Dominican Republic of a major civic campaign to convince the government to enforce a 1997 law requiring that public investment in K-12 education be at least 4% of GDP.
Since the movement’s founding, the Coalición Educación Digna has been responsible for organizing various groups and activists around the “Campaign for the 4%.” The group has managed to remain independent, firmly anti-partisan, and exceptionally successful in designing messages promoting a common cause. For these and other achievements, the Inter-American Dialogue honored the coalition with the first Award for Civic Engagement on June 7, 2012.
Citizens dressed in yellow and guided by the Coalition have participated in frequent demonstrations at the National Congress, the National Palace and the Ministry of Finance. The Coalition has also organized cultural and musical activities, gained notoriety in the media, and raised consciousness among Dominicans of the importance of improving education quality for the country’s development.
Major, non-partisan civic campaigns organized around education policy are uncommon in Latin America. The Coalition’s most important achievement is, without a doubt, the signing of the “Social and Political Pledge” in September 2011, in which all Dominican presidential candidates promised that, if elected, they would comply with the General Law of Education.
One of PREAL’s partners in the Dominican Republic, Action for Education (EDUCA), is a coalition member and promoter of the “Social and Political Pledge” signed by the presidential candidates. EDUCA and the Latin American School of Social Sciences and Research (FLASCO), also a PREAL partner, regularly produce reports that monitor the country’s progress in education.
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