26.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Improving the quality of education was the objective of the exchange between the National Commissions for Cooperation with UNESCO of Colombia and Uruguay

Foto: Cancillería de Colombia

During the first seminar “Colombia and Uruguay work towards quality education”, these two South American countries shared their best practices in education from 19 to 21 May in Bogotá. The activity was aimed at incorporating the UNESCO international objectives into the agenda to improve the quality of education of the “Todos a Aprender” programme of the Colombian Ministry of Education.

This South-South cooperation activity in the field of education is an initiative of the Executive Department of the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO of the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the National Ministry of Education of Colombia within the framework of the Intergovernmental Mixed Commission between Colombia and Uruguay. It is based on the work that this Colombian programme and the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (RedPEA), of the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture, have done.

The Colombian experience was studied from the specialists’ visit to the Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala educational establishment in the city of Soacha, with the purpose of learning first hand of the different challenges faced by the institution and the city government during the implementation of the “Todos a Aprender” Programme (PTA).

In the case of Uruguay, Nicolás Pons, advisor to the Vice-Minister of Education and Culture, and Hersilia Fonseca, national coordinator of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, spoke to Colombian specialists about the experience of their country, which has stood out as one of the best implementations of the ‘Associated Schools’ programme in Latin America, through its National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO.

The “Todos a Aprender” Programme, the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network and the National Commission of Cooperation with UNESCO

The “Todos a Aprender” Programme (PTA) of the Colombian Ministry of Education is aimed at improving students’ learning achievements during their transition years and elementary school in language and mathematics. It is also geared towards guaranteeing quality education in educational establishments that face difficult conditions.

Currently, the “Todos a Aprender” programme benefits 2,400,000 students, including 4,303 educational establishments of which 78% are rural and 22% are urban.

The UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) promotes sustainable development, peace, human rights and cultural learning through the practice of international cooperation, the socialisation of good practices, synergy between institutions and civil society and the promotion of research and experimentation.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, is the president of the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. The Commission is composed of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, and the Presidential Cooperation Agency of Colombia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acts as the Commission’s Executive Secretary.

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