The MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture) Centres were set up in 2007 as educational and cultural spaces with the purpose to make access to education, scientific and technological innovation and cultural services and products easier, thus putting democratization and decentralization oriented policies in place, which aim at promoting equal opportunities among citizens and thereby favour social integration and citizen participation. (http://centrosmec.org.uy/).
- Improvement of citizens´ access to cultural goods and education opportunities, particularly for those sectors of the population, which have been most disadvantaged due to economic, educational and territorial reasons or as a result of some kind of impairment, etc.
- Promotion of education and awareness with respect to (social, political, environment, gender, cultural and other) human rights.
- Implementation of outreach, dissemination and development-related activities in the field of arts and culture, starting from these new centres, which include visits by artists, scientists and technical experts, exhibitions, rooms for debate and other activities.
- Implementation of nonformal education projects and actions within the reach of the centres, which follow the principle of "lifelong education for all".
- Promotion of digital literacy to reduce the gap between Uruguay and other countries as well as among Uruguayan citizens, its purpose being an improved access to education and culture.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
It has been pointed out that there is a need to strengthen communication and exchange between the MEC Centres in the interior of the country in order to improve the mobility of artists and events.
With regard to the contents of their educational and cultural work, their promotion of science and technology, human rights and digital literacy the MEC Centres are supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Their strategic partners at the local level are the provincial authorities, while the National Telecommunications Authority serves as their technological ally.
The team consists of 37 coordinators at the provincial level, 220 digital literacy teachers, 110 animators , 4 regional digital literacy assistants and 15 members of the central coordination team.
Citizen participation in digital literacy workshops.
Participation of artists and workshop organizers in existing and new events.
The population goes to the cultural activities and events.
Thanks to the MEC Centres it has been possible to include sectors from rural areas and small villages and to support and facilitate their access to cultural and educational goods and services.