MEC Centres

Ministry of Education and Culture
National Telecommunications Authority
Provincial governments ("Intendencias municipales")
Key objectives of the measure:

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. ( 

  • 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.

Scope of the measure:
Local, Regional, National
Main feature of the measure:

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.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:


Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

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. 

Indicators used to determine impact:
A number of indicators, which summarize the work of the MEC Centres during 2007-2011: 5676 activities, in which cultural and educational goods circulated between 114 towns and villages of up to 5000 inhabitants, for which 3787 artists, workshop organizers and performances were contracted at an average cost of $4,300.00 per activity, which means on average 4 activities per month and centre. About 729007 persons went to these activities; according to the 2004 population census the total population of the villages and towns with MEC Centres is 964080 persons, which means that 75% of the population (3 out of 4 inhabitants) took part at least in one activity. The digital literacy workshops in the centres meant an investment of 19968 teaching staff hours for 36370 literacy students. 80% of all participants of these workshops were women aged 40 and more.As part of the National Digital Literacy Plan in 2011 45 local social inclusion projects were planned and carried out as horizontal projects thanks to ICT.Among the activities, which were centrally organized together with other institutions, the following should be highlighted: Vení a ver Uruguay (Get to know Uruguay) (provincial governments and National Directorate of Culture - DNC), which involved 500 artists of the interior of the country and attracted 4000 persons; Un Pueblo al Solís (Everybody to the Solís) (DNC, Solis Theatre, Foundation Friends of the Solis Theatre), which attracted 1448 people from different villages in 2010 and 1600 in 2011; 20 pueblos 20 memorias (20 villages, 20 memories) (Human Rights Directorate), with the participation of an estimated 1000 persons.