A report on public expenditure on education in Latin America, commissioned by UNESCO’s Office in Montevideo and prepared by the Karisma Foundation, is now published under open license and available for download.
Entitled “Public expenditure on education in Latin America: Can it serve the purpose of the Paris OER Declaration”, the paper was originally written in Spanish by Amalia Toledo Hernández in collaboration with Carolina Botero and Luisa Guzmán. It seeks to identify and analyze the investment and expenditure policies reported by five Latin American governments for developing and procuring school textbooks, as well as digital content for primary and secondary school.
Education is the pillar that underlies countries’ social and economic development. It is a right recognized by the major international human rights instruments, as well as by the national constitutions and laws of the five countries analyzed in this report: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Although these countries have taken positive steps towards meeting their international obligations, they still have to make efforts in order to fully meet all international standards, goals and expectations related to Open Educational Resources (OER).
Unfortunately, in many Latin American countries digital technology is not a coherent part of education systems. Despite efforts to promote the educational use of information technology in the region, emphasis has been placed on issues related to enrollment. For this reason, the effective use of technologies for education requires further development to benefit educational delivery to its full potential.
During the last decade, there has been a rapid advancement in technologies that make it extremely easy for people to create and share materials. However, the need to ensure the appropriate respect of existing copyright laws has remained a challenge. The development of open licensing and Open Educational Resources (OER) helps address this gap by changing and questioning the current paradigm. The Paris OER Declaration, adopted at the UNESCO World OER Congress in 2012, defines OER as any educational resources, teaching, learning or research material that is in the public domain or published with an open license that allows it to be used, adapted and distributed free of charge. The Paris OER Declaration also encourages the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
This policy paper aims to offer concrete inputs for a public debate towards intelligible and comprehensive inclusion of OER in educational systems of Latin American countries.