Education

The Inter-American Dialogue’s Education Program aims to improve the quality of learning and skills development across Latin America. We do so by partnering with public and private organizations throughout the hemisphere to promote informed debate on education policy, identify and disseminate best practices, and monitor progress toward improvement. Our cutting-edge analysis of education policy and broad network of policymakers, education experts, business leaders, academics, and journalists have made it the strongest private voice on education in the region.

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Stories away from school

“Is this true? Am I returning to school?” Sol asked in disbelief when her parents told her that her primary school in Argentina would open for the first time in 15 long months. Sol had finished kindergarten virtually the previous year and, by now, had gotten used to attending classes from her parents’ laptop. However, starting 1st grade had not been easy, as Sol had a different teacher. On Wednesday, June 11, 2021, Sol wearing a mask, barely recognized her teacher Julieta for the first time she saw her in person. Julieta was also wearing a mask and looked taller than Sol foresaw. “Are you Julieta, my teacher?” Sol asked, genuine and gracefully, to the (not visible) tender smile she generated in her interlocutor. And this is where a new (in-person) school story for Sol began.

Stories like Sol’s are just one of many faced by the 170 million children who were not able to attend school in person due to closures in countries across the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region in the first 12 months of the pandemic. The World Bank Group’s Acting Now report noted that LAC’s education systems were, on average, closed for longer than in any other region of the world. Panama became “famous” for breaking the world record for school closure duration at one point.

Within countries, vulnerable groups and students living in rural areas were disproportionately affected. Ecuador’s 13-year-old Margarita lives in the rural community of Pimanpiro and can’t wait to return to school after being completely disconnected due to the lack of internet in the village. A bit luckier were Peru’s 15-year-old Medaly or Bolivia’s 14-year-old Luis, who were able to avail of distance learning thanks to some access to digital devices, but faced different hurdles. While Luis had access to the internet and an old monitor where he could “watch classes” better, his computer would shut off if he turned on his video. Medaly, on the other hand, could only “connect to classes” using her mom’s cell phone, which had limited and costly-to-expand data access.

The catastrophic effects of school closures in LAC

Stories like the ones depicted above help understand the degree of disruption generated by the pandemic in the education systems in LAC. The Covid-19 outbreak not only deepened inequities in the most unequal region in the world but generated new ones. Within the context of the experience in one of the longest-closed school systems in LAC, Argentina, Romero et al. (2021) coined one of these new segregation patterns as the new reality of “Zoom” versus “Whatsapp” schools.

[caption id="attachment_118692" align="alignleft" width="300"]Margarita, studying at home during Ecuador's lockdown. UNICEF/ECU/2021/Vega[/caption]

According to recently updated regional simulations, the number of learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS) lost due to the pandemic is expected to be between 1.1 and 1.4 years, taking away from an already low regional average of around seven years of education per child. And the proportion of adolescents not able to adequately understand and interpret a text of moderate length (using PISA scores on 15-year-old below minimum proficiency levels) could have increased from about 50 percent up to a dramatic 70 percent or more. Beyond simulations, at least 20 different systematic reviews of the impact of school closures on student achievement, published from evidence collected all over the world, point to significant losses, with emerging evidence on the LAC region pointing to a generational catastrophe, with the most vulnerable student groups disproportionally affected. The new 2019 data on the 4th Comparative and Explanatory Regional Study (ERCE, from its Spanish acronym) to be released today by UNESCO’s Latin American Laboratory for Education Quality Assessment (LLECE, from its Spanish acronym) will help provide an updated learning outcome baseline for the region to get a better grasp of the learning losses.

But focusing on the positive: after more than an academic year of education systems largely closed, schools across the region started, slowly but steadily, to reopen. Such processes have not gone without hiccups, remain highly fluid, and have been implemented with various levels of readiness. Notwithstanding these challenges, education stakeholders have agreed: in-person education cannot be substituted by anything else.

Reopening schools in LAC: The urgency of the return to schooling and learning

School reopening is a much-awaited stage across the region. This fundamental process, however, gives way to new challenges. First and foremost is the return to schooling challenge. A recent survey for Argentina found that at least 357,000 students dropped out of school in 2020. Of these, 19 percent (67,000 children or adolescents) did not return in 2021. Recovering schooling will require good data to estimate the full magnitude of the problem and then the right policies and incentives to re-enroll and keep those children, and especially adolescents, in school. A comprehensive Covid-19-related dropout prevention framework, with effective re-enrollment campaigns and early warning systems, like the ones recently developed in some states of the United States or by countries like Chile, may go a long way to start addressing the schooling return challenge.

Second, and arguably even tougher, is the learning recovery challenge. According to a recent study on remote learning in secondary education for the Brazilian State of São Paulo students only learned 27.5 percent of the in-person equivalent under remote learning. Recovering learning will need a comprehensive accelerating learning recovery strategy, building on in-classroom learning assessments, especially formative ones, that could help diagnose the depth, breadth, and characteristics of learning losses. Teachers and principals will need to be supported throughout this period, with civil society organizations playing a critical role. This dual schooling and learning challenge will be explored and supported through a joint partnership between the WBG and the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD). The “Returning to Schooling and Learning after Covid-19” series will be launched on December 14.

[caption id="attachment_118696" align="alignleft" width="249"]Regional Report produced by the LAC Education Unit (March 2020) © Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock.com / World Bank[/caption]

LAC’s education systems have a very steep curve ahead of them. Recovering from the “educational earthquake” engendered by the pandemic will certainly be an uphill battle. However, in the midst of the anxiety and angst that this situation generates around the future of LAC generations lays a unique opportunity: that of building back better. The time to protect and enhance education budgets for equity and efficiency, to revamp early childhood education and improve youth’s skills sets for longer-term challenges, and to carry out effective educational policies for sustainability is also now. The Sols, Margaritas, Medalys, and Luises of LAC are still recovering from their traumatic experiences in the past 18 months and are still looking for responses. Let’s protect their human capital. The time to act is now.

 

 

*Emanuela di Gropello is the Practice Manager for the Education Global Practice (HLCED) in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) Region of the World Bank Group (WBG); Juan Diego Alonso is a Senior Economist working for HLCED at the WBG; and Ariel Fiszbein is the Education Program Director for the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD).

**This blog is intended to launch a series of events organized by the Inter-American Dialogue and the World Bank entitled, “Recovering Schooling and Learning after Covid-19 in LAC” series. 

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The path towards establishing government-wide early childhood public policies varies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. As a result, it has been proposed to the countries of the region to establish an Early Childhood Education Quality Agenda that considers a broad and relevant overview of early childhood, embraces the relationship between learning and development, and emphasizes both structural and procedural factors.

The sixth recommendation of the Declaration of the Regional Forum: Towards Quality Early Childhood Education, highlights the importance of developing a competence framework for those working on the field, promoting a system of training—both initial and continuous—and certification of competencies that strengthens early childhood care in the region.

The following study, prepared by Javier Quesada and Claudia Castro with the support of the Inter-American Dialogue, the Inter-American Institute for Children and Adolescents (IIN-OAS), and the LEGO Foundation, proposes a framework of basic and universal competencies that should be included in training/certification programs, so that they are present in the region’s future curricula. This framework is a common starting point that each of the countries can expand upon based on their context and needs.

Beyond each country or culture’s specificities, six priority competencies should be included:

  1. Rights: Performs educational and childhood care practices incorporating the perspective of rights in the role, promoting the assertion of rights by children and families based on the best interests of the child.
  2. Early Childhood Development: Manages actions and experiences in safe and stimulating environments in accordance with the interests and developmental level of the child. As task organizers, professionals work to establish quality interpersonal bonds, proper treatment, and play.
  3. Family and community: Shares guidelines and strengthens the "positive or enriching" parenting practices of families, enhancing the levels of development of children, involving the community in early childhood care.
  4. Health and nutrition: Carries out duties and educational activities for children, promoting healthy habits, progressive autonomy, and considers the physical and mental health needs during growth and development.
  5. Diversity and gender: Proposes childhood care and education experiences that take diversity into account, understanding that at this early stage of socialization roles, attributes, appearances, behaviors, and social functions are established.
  6. Pedagogical skills and capacities: Observes, listens, and respects the opinions of others in interactions. Understands learning as a process of open collaboration (between family, institution, community, and children) that ensures social inclusion and creates the foundations for the development-learning process.

These general competencies, which involve specific skills for people in early childhood care and education, should be acquired through training systems that consider the diversity of previous careers and experiences. Each country will be able to suggest methodologies and strategies according to the needs and learning styles of care workers, and address the governmental challenge of holding trainings and adjusting to their own qualification systems.

ONLINE EVENT: Competence Frameworks for Early Childhood Care and Education Staff in Latin America and the Caribbean

On July 8, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Inter-American Institute for Children and Adolescents (IIN-OAS), with the support of the LEGO Foundation, held an online event to present the report: Competence Frameworks for Early Education and Childcare Staff.

Ariel Fiszbein, director of the Education Program at the Inter-American Dialogue, shared opening remarks. Presenters included: Víctor Giorgi, general director of the IIN-OAS; Ana Maria Nieto, early childhood senior program specialist at the LEGO Foundation; Javier Quesada, former undersecretary of early childhood at the National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and the Family of the Ministry of Social Development of Argentina; Claudia Castro, specialist in education and health and advisor for the Argentine Society of Pediatrics; Yannig Dussart, early childhood development manager at UNICEF's Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean; Irma Luna, director of early childhood education at the Ministry of Public Education of Mexico; and Ely Harasawa, former director of the Happy Parenting Program of the Brazilian Ministry of Citizenship.

Javier Quesada and Claudia Castro presented the report, which incorporates comments and suggestions from a validation workshop held in May where experts from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay participated. The report developed the competence profile according to the roles and functions of early education and care staff, who are mainly mothers and women in the community. Ideally, countries could revise their training programs based on this framework. As a result, these competencies could help define the standards for certification in the region. Quesada and Castro explained that the idea is not to impose a standardization of the framework, but that each country executes the necessary adjustments, expansions, and modifications based on their institutional capacities, particular needs, and age range, among others. They stressed that the document should lead to a local implementation strategy through a flexible methodological model.

Yannig Dussart began his remarks by stressing that he fully agrees with the idea of not imposing a standardization of the framework since adaptability is key to incorporating diversity and facilitating the exchange of experiences. He considers this to be very important in the context of the region, given the great diversity and heterogeneity—although these same factors present challenges in terms of training and certification. He shared that the creation and establishment of a framework does not guarantee quality services by itself; this starting point must be complemented by concrete actions. Later in the presentation, he mentioned that it would be useful to complement this work with specific cases to help countries implement such actions. Agreeing with the study, he deemed the role of families fundamental, since they should be the focal point of the educational process. He also highlighted the importance focusing on the needs of the child, ensuring quality and equality in interactions, fostering dialogue as well as children with disabilities. He concluded by claiming that it is necessary to strengthen the human talent of the region, supporting the countries so that they can strengthen their training processes.

Irma Luna continued, emphasizing that in order to offer early childhood quality education, training caregivers is necessary. She agreed with Dussart on the role of the family in early childhood education, noting that schools and homes are not, and should not be, separate, since children’s growth occurs in both. She explained that an educational agent can understand and build bridges with the family. Regarding what remains to be done, Luna stated that the region's training and certification plans should be reviewed, strengthening capacities for observation work and theoretical-conceptual tools for systematization, as well as strengthening the inclusive and humanist approach. She stressed that there is a need for economic and social recognition of educational agents, since children require professionals committed to their development. Referring to the document, Luna said that these competencies clearly reflect Mexico’s needs and what must be put in place. Finally, she reflected on how formal education requires a different perspective than informal education, yet both require quality education.

Lastly, the panel discussion featured Ely Harasawa. Harasawa stressed that the active participation of civil society is essential for public policies to be continuous, sustainable, and strengthened. She emphasized that having a competence framework is an important step forward and a starting point for improving the quality of early childhood education. However, the framework also sheds light on new challenges, as each of the competencies requires specific efforts. Among these upcoming challenges, she mentioned structural and procedural factors (institutional conditions and selection processes), and working conditions (the type of hiring generates a lot of turnovers, adequate pay, workload, etc.), among others. She then raised a question about the minimum prerequisites for hiring, noting that it is a consideration that should be taken, especially in the case of unqualified professionals. Harasawa concluded by stating that policy intersection and an intersectoral approach are key, as they allow for a more integrated vision for development and an improvement in the quality of services.

WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING HERE:

RELATED LINKS

IADB BLOG: How to Incorporate Early Childhood Care and Education Staff Competence Frameworks into Public Policies?

Competence Frameworks for Early Education and Childcare Staff

Declaration of the Regional Forum: Towards Quality Early Childhood Education

Regional Agenda for Early Childhood Development

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How has the pandemic affected the growth of children in the Latin American region? In Colombia, the organization NiñezYA seeks to understand how the pandemic has affected children and jeopardized their rights. We had the opportunity to talk to Ángela Constanza Jerez Trujillo, coordinator of NiñezYA, about their new report and its implications for both Colombia and Latin America.

The report highlights that the pandemic will leave its imprint on all of us, but especially on children and teenagers. While medically this population is not considered a high-risk group, the impact is noticeable in a significant uptick in maternal deaths, lack of healthcare for children and teenagers, increased food insecurity, decreased access to healthy food, and reduction in food portions. The World Bank estimates that between 88 and 115 million people were left in extreme poverty in 2020. What are the expected consequences of this situation?

In NiñezYA, we have analyzed the particular situation of Colombia in relation to these issues and the results are very concerning. In particular, maternal deaths have a devastating effect on infants. Studies show that the likelihood of survival in children whose mothers died during the first 42 days after childbirth is much lower compared to children of surviving mothers. In addition, maternal deaths prevent easy access to milk and maternal care, which are key in early development. In 2019, 261 early maternal deaths were filed in Colombia, while in 2020 there were 348. Although this cannot be solely attributed to the pandemic, the current situation suggests that hospital services are prioritizing Covid-19 care, limiting fronts such as child and maternal care.

Number of early maternal deaths * accumulated by epidemiological week 2020:

 

Gráfico número de muertes maternas tempranas

Neonatal mortality rate due to obstetric complications and birth trauma. II quarter years 2008 to 2020:

 

Gráfico tasa de defunciones no fetales de recién nacidos

As for the lack of monitoring of the health and development of children, the consequences are immeasurable at this time, as there is no knowledge of what happened to children who did not attend their check-ups, especially during the first year of life and gestation, when humans go through the greatest developmental changes. Having timely information on the difficulties that children may have growing up makes an important difference in taking appropriate action.

As for food insecurity, which is directly related to lack of income for families, research shows that it is affecting the most vulnerable populations, as well as new populations who were not previously affected by the issue. Prior to the pandemic and its restrictions, a total of 89.3 percent of Colombia's households consumed three meals a day. Now, that figure has dropped to 69.3percent, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics’ (DANE) Social Pulse survey of December 2020. In certain regions of the country, that percentage is even lower. This is the case in the Caribbean region, where there are cities like Santa Marta, where it went from 99.5 percent to 40.1 percent; or Cartagena which was at 70.3 percent and is now at 34.1 percent (See chart in the report here).

This situation will result in an increase in obesity, chronic and acute malnutrition rates, conditions that increase the risk of chronic nontransmissible diseases, and will cause lags for the rest of a child's life if it occurs during early childhood. Chronic malnutrition affects physical and cognitive development and acute malnutrition can lead to death. Fundación Success estimates that Colombia will be set back four years in its goal of having zero cases of chronic malnutrition in children under 5 years of age by 2034, which is now at 10.8 percent on average.

What actions should countries in the region take to remedy this situation?

At NiñezYA, we advocate for the following (see the full list here):

  • Regularly conduct surveys and evaluations on different dimensions of well-being. These provide warning signs essential for decision-making. It is important to take into account the different phases of development, since the effects are not the same on early childhood, childhood, adolescence or youth.
  • Make administrative processes that provide communities with water, sanitation, and an adequate educational environment more flexible with the urgency that the context requires.
  • Establish prioritized strategies for the care of pregnant people amid the contingency that would reduce maternal deaths and the implications that they can have on children in the first instance.
  • Promote strategies that maintain child development check-ups and breastfeeding counseling because it combats malnutrition and is effective against food insecurity.
  • Prioritize intervention in regions where there is a combination of high rates of malnutrition and Covid-19 effects, including territories most likely to experience food insecurity due to lack of production or inability to purchase food.
  • Ensure that all households have sufficient and nutritious food.
  • Work together with government institutions, civil society, academia, and international organizations, among others, to provide livelihoods to the most vulnerable families and to efficiently operate the mechanisms necessary for comprehensive protection of children, taking into account differential aspects such as gender, ethnicity, geographical location, disability status, among other identities. Join efforts between local and national governments, civil society organizations, and international organizations to address the social and economic challenges of the pandemic in children and teenagers.

We have observed that during the pandemic the physical and emotional health of children and teenagers has suffered greatly. This study highlights that "the effects on the socio-emotional state of children, as well as caregivers, is another relevant problem," which is evident in surveys that mention symptoms of increased anxiety and worry. What long-term effects can be expected of this situation? How should this problem be addressed and which sectors and actors should play a relevant role in addressing this issue?

Different surveys and evaluations show socio-emotional problems in children, teenagers, and their parents and caregivers. Lack of social interaction, limited demonstrations of affection, and living in a context of fear can affect emotional intelligence and the development of nonverbal cognitive, social, and communicative skills in children, especially the youngest.

The emotional impact on adults also affects children and teenagers. The presence of toxic levels of stress during pregnancy can affect the development of the brain structures of the fetus in the womb. Additionally, the high levels of stress adults experience can seriously interfere with care and parenting skills.

We believe that the best way to address this issue is by returning to development centers for children and schools, with all biosecurity measures. This should be coupled with accompanying and training caregivers and teachers so that they can support children and teenagers in this new process that is unfamiliar to all of us. In this sense, the participation of the education sector, the health sector, parents' associations, experts in education and mental health and civil society, among others, is required. It is important to listen to children and teenagers on how to address this problem and take their opinions into account.

Scientific evidence sustains the relevance of preschool education. An Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) (2020) simulation estimates significant losses in gross domestic product (GDP) if children stop attending preschool. During the pandemic, countries have invested in educational technology to support remote education, however, many students do not yet have access to devices or a stable internet connection. This has widened learning gaps and inequity in education. Considering what we learned during the pandemic regarding the use and access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the relationship between in-person and virtual assistance, what measures should be strengthened to ensure universal access to quality education in Colombia and other countries in the region?

In the case of Colombia, similarly to the rest of the region, internet access and devices are not the same for children and teenagers. This depends on their socioeconomic sphere and geographical location (rural or urban). For example, in Bogota (the capital), 8 out of 10 private school students have access to high-speed internet, while 5 out of 10 students from official colleges have access to high-speed internet access (National Consulting Center, Uniandes and ProBogotá). In addition, the capacities of the adults who accompany and supervise them are not the same and that also impacts education.

NiñezYA supports the recommendations that education experts have pointed out, several of whom are in our coalition. These include (see full list here):

  • Ensure that all students, regardless of whether they are in public or private school or their socioeconomic status, can be connected to their school, teachers and peers. This includes access to a quality teaching-learning process accompanied by technological and training tools for its use.
  • Design a digital package for education that includes the entire educational community.
  • Develop strategies for remedial education, dropout prevention, emotional well-being and increased confidence in hybrid models, and which include the entire educational community. Encourage remaining in school through incentives for workings with school-aged children.
  • Support the formulation and implementation of new training strategies and follow-through with teachers and managers to strengthen teaching effectiveness during and immediately after the pandemic.
  • Anticipate strategies to serve students who will transition from the private to the public sector, so that the public sector is not overburdened and the quality does not deteriorate.

It is important to keep in mind the following recommendations to care for the population with disabilities, which is now more marginalized than before the pandemic, according to information from Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

  • Strengthen the collection and systematization of disability data in the instruments of national statistical systems.
  • Ensure an inclusive, differential, and cross-cutting approach to all policies and actions implemented to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, giving participation to the disabled population and civil society organizations.
  • Make the accommodations and adjustments required to protect the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of disability in the provision of basic healthcare services.
  • Ensure that universal measures (curriculum adaptations and inclusive design of online education platforms and proposals) are accompanied by permanent support resources for families and community.

In Colombia, the study highlights that there is concern in the community about dropouts. What recommendations can be made to governments and schools to combat dropouts in 2021 and after the pandemic?

It is important to note that the 7.6 percent dropout rate is specific to Bogota, the capital city, and could now be up to three times what was reported in 2020. There is no information at the national level.

NiñezYA is supporting the return of children and teenagers to schools, with all biosecurity measures, with the campaign called PresentesYA. At this time, March 31, 2021, only 11.6 percent of students from educational institutions in the official sector have returned to school (according to figures from Fundación Empresarios por la Educación, a member of NiñezYA). In order for them to return, on the one hand, local authorities are required to utilize the central resources allocated in the proportion educational institutions need. As of the above date, only 22.7 percent of these resources have been implemented. On the other hand, it is urgent that the central government completes the work that had begun to update the school infrastructure that had large lags (buildings from 60 years ago that did not have basic services such as water, sewage, light, and sanitary batteries). Similarly, the government must design strategies that combat the reasons for the dropouts, which have to do with school (learning) and family (income, among others) problems.

Fundación Empresarios por la Educación, a member of NiñezYA, conducted a survey of the country's education secretaries, representing 64.4 percent of school enrollment. They noted several important elements to consider when developing strategies to combat dropouts, including:

  • Continuing to foster dialogue among members of the educational community to build trust and mitigate perceptions of risk in the face of school reopening.
  • Strengthening safe return campaigns to classrooms; prioritizing teacher strengthening processes in-person and remote teaching frameworks to ensure educational quality.
  • Incorporating monitoring and evaluation frameworks for advanced training programs to identify sustainable practices.
  • Strengthening the specialized education teams that accompany educational institutions to facilitate learning recovery and necessary curriculum adjustments in the current context.
  • Accompanying educational institutions in incorporating quality digital content into remote teaching and learning frameworks.
  • Delivering guides, printed materials, and other resources that do not require connectivity. This becomes more relevant when considering that the hybrid model also requires remote plans.

Domestic violence has been a major challenge during the pandemic in the region. In the report, a key recommendation to mitigate domestic violence and other situations that jeopardize the well-being of children is to strengthen the "peaceful interpersonal, family and community relationships, based on respect, reciprocity and communication" with the understanding that "children and teenagers need new paradigms based on loving parenting and building equitable gender roles." Have there been successful programs that promote healthy communication at home?

At the stroke of midnight on March 23, the Colombian Congress passed a law against physical punishment, that forbids parents and caregivers from the use of any form of mistreatment to educate children and teenagers. The law also has a pedagogical, persuasive and alternative objective, through the promotion of loving, violence-free parenting practices, respectful of the fundamental rights of children in Colombia. To this end, the project encourages the creation of a national pedagogical strategy, through which parents can access counseling and psychological support to acquire tools that will help them raise their children and correct them without violence. Government entities related to this issue, civil society, parents, and coalitions such as NiñezYA are expected to participate in this strategy.

A final reflection: the importance of healthy play and conversations are a crucial aspect of the development of children. How can countries in the region regain playful and healthy spaces after the pandemic? Who can lead these efforts?

Longitudinal research conducted by the National University of Colombia on children who attended and did not attend play libraries (known in Spanish as Ludotecas, which are public spaces with toys designed to encourage play) showed that the former were able to develop skills for coexistence, such as the ability to listen, negotiate, put themselves in each other's shoes, and be creative. It is important that national and local governments provide exclusive spaces for children to play with each other and have encounters with adults. This promotes healthy family coexistence and peer empathy. NiñezYA suggests:

  • Recognizing the importance of allocating budgets for quality sustainable spaces with prepared staff and appropriate infrastructure for enjoying games, in playrooms, libraries, and public parks, ensuring that children feel safe without environmental or social risks. Differential aspects such as gender, ethnicity, geographical location and disability status, among other identities, should be taken into account.
  • Creating ongoing programs for families to understand the importance of progressive and safe return to recreation, sport, and culture activities for children and teenagers in open spaces.
  • Insisting on training teachers, mothers, parents and caregivers on the importance of recognizing playing as an important right.

All these efforts must be led by local authorities and include the entire community and input from children and teenagers.

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