04.11.2015 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Panama: primary schools with greater autonomy seem to achieve better results in learning achievement

El evento fue realizado en Santiago de Veraguas, Panamá. Foto: UNESCO

This was revealed by an analysis of the national data derived from the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE), coordinated by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin American and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago)

The average scores for learning achievement of Panamanian students, however, were below the regional average of 700 points.

The release of the results obtained by Panama in the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE) took place in the city of Santiago de Veraguas on October 21, 2015. This event was attended by school principals and teachers from throughout the country, as well as professionals from the Ministry of Education of Panama (MEDUCA).

The meeting began with a welcome from Daniel Mojica, the regional director of education in Veraguas, followed by an introduction of the TERCE study from the national coordinator of the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), Gina Garcés.

Afterwards, Moritz Bilagher from the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, the Organisation that coordinates the LLECE and its TERCE study) presented the regional results of the investigation. TERCE was implemented in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in the Mexican state of Nuevo León in the subject areas of reading, writing, and mathematics for 3rd and 6th grade learners, and in natural sciences for 6th grade. “Even though there was progress in the region in terms of learning achievement between 2006 and 2013, the performance levels reached by the majority of the students indicate that there is still work to be done”, assured Bilagher, adding that “in Panama, the good results of learning achievement in writing are noteworthy”.

After this presentation, it was the turn of the vice president of the group Unidos por la Educación, Nivia Castrellón, who was designated by MEDUCA for the development of the TERCE national report. The specialist presented the results of the study in Panama, and focused her exposition on the factors associated with learning achievement.  

In Panama, the study was conducted in 187 public and private schools, and its results were below the regional average of 700 points on the mathematics, reading, and natural sciences exams. In mathematics, Panamanian students in 3rd grade scored 664 points and in 6th grade they scored 644 points. In reading, the 3rd grade students scored 670 points on average and those of 6th grade scored 671. Meanwhile, in natural sciences the score was 675.

The meeting closed with a panel moderated by Gina Garcés and the participation of <a name="_GoBack"></a>Luis Watts, attorney; Juan Bosco Bernal, dean of the Universidad de las Américas (UDELAS); Yadira Pino, from the teachers’ association, and Moritz Bilagher of UNESCO. Among other issues, it dealt with the role of teachers in educational improvement, and the institutionalism of educational policy. On this occasion, Dr. Bernal emphasised that the quality of education and of learning is essential for the socioeconomic development of Panama.

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