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Improving and revitalizing education in Latin America and the Caribbean

Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno pledged decisive action to continue and expand the IDB’s support to improve and revitalize the education systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, placing a priority on improving teaching quality, promoting greater accountability, offering students more choice and encouraging private-public partnerships.

Speaking at a conference on education reform hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C., the IDB president added that the Bank would also place a priority on expanding and reforming higher education, achieving greater integration of educational systems with scientific and technological development, and supporting the provision of continuous, flexible and market-driven training opportunities to those outside the formal education system.

Moreno endorsed a report presented at the conference by the Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas, describing it as a “call to action” that will be met by the IDB.
“We live in an age in which the knowledge capital of a society has become the key to competitiveness,” Moreno told the conference. Advances in education are also essential in reducing income inequality and social exclusion, he added.

Moreno warned that despite much progress in some areas – particularly gender equality and the provision of primary education, which is within reach of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of universal coverage – Latin America was falling behind educational advances in Asia, Europe and North America.  “The Bank and other stakeholders in the region’s educational performance – students, parents, teachers and administrators – can do much better in providing higher quality, greater accountability and wider choices in educational opportunity for our region’s youth,” he added.

During the past 15 years the IDB has loaned nearly $4.5 billion to support the region’s education sector, in addition to technical assistance for reform and substantial financial support for cash incentive  programs that create effective incentives for the enrollment and retention in schools of millions of poor children in the region, such as Progresa/Oportunidades in Mexico and Bolsa Escola in Brazil.


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