Addressing the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. on 19 April, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated that "the key question we need to ask is how education can contribute to mitigate inequality."
"Fundamentally, quality education must craft the societies we aspire to - inclusive, dynamic and sustainable societies, free of poverty, societies anchored in respect for cultural diversity and human rights", said Mrs Bokova, giving the 51st Lecture of the Americas on the theme of promoting human development and quality education in the region.
Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the OAS, underscored that the quality of education is a leading challenge for the whole region. He noted that studies also show that Latin America lags behind on the link between education and economic growth, with twice the level of per capita income required relative to Europe to reach an 80% school enrollment threshold.
The Director-General welcomed UNESCO's cooperation with the OAS to improve the quality of education across the Latin American and Caribbean region, referring to the partnership on the Regional Strategy for Teachers, coordinated by UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Education in Santiago de Chile. Later this year, OAS will launch a platform to showcase and share successful teaching and learning practices across the region.
Mrs Bokova also highlighted work carried out by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, the World Bank, UNICEF and Brookings to measure learning outcomes in a comprehensive manner as a means to improve education quality. In the lead-up to the 2015 target date for achieving the education goals, the preparation of national accountability reports would enable countries to take stock and identify strategies to address challenges and gaps.