Educate to transform | UNICEF

A fairer world“, “a better country” are wishes we hear when we ask children and adolescents what they dream about. These wishes can become reality, but they require joint efforts of the state, families, communities and the private sector to guarantee younger generations all their rights, including education.

As was well expressed by President Pedro Castillo at the UN General Assembly Education Transformation Summitit’s a must a new social pact to fill the historical gaps in education that Peru was beginning to overcome when the Covid-19 pandemic paralyzed the world, left more than eight million children and adolescents out of the classroom and confronted the country with reality: if every teacher and their students had the tools to leap into the digital world, the goal of leaving no one behind will not be realized.

Unfortunately, much more is required than training teachers and providing computers (efforts that the state, the private sector and international cooperation are making and should continue to make). Conditions are necessary, which in the XXI century and in a country that aspires to be part of the OECD, should already be given, but it is not so. At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Education (Minedu) estimated that 70% of classrooms require infrastructural intervention; 39% required complete replacement and in rural areas only 37% had adequate drainage and 25% were without electricity.

The provision of basic infrastructure includes more than 111,000 million soles. Making this investment is vitalas well as preventing every child or adolescent of school age from leaving school and accessing quality education that allows them to recover their learning and prepare for the challenges of working life when they reach adulthood. A few basic tasks which must be solved in parallel and quickly.

If you want to save the younger generation,
no time to waste.

Peru has conditions to take advantage of to meet the educational challenge: the desire of children and adolescents to participate in its developmentthe huge one social consensus on the prioritization of education expressed in the mobilization of civil groups that advocated a return to present classes, private sector concern of the capacity with which boys and girls will leave the classrooms. The state would do well to capitalize on this interest and commitment by ensuring that private sector investment is targeted at closing gaps and is transparent, efficient and flexible.

Eight years remain of the deadline set by UN member states for compliance 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The pandemic set Peru, like most countries, back on track, and it would lose at least a fifth of its entire educational capital in more than 10 years. But it also forced him to look in the mirror, rethink and correct himself. In this exercise, Peru confirmed that lack of digital skills and connectivity are very negative for learning and well-being students that it is necessary to reduce this digital divide. Failure to do so increases the risk of children and adolescents not accessing or remaining in the education system, deepens inequality in learning and perpetuates family histories of poverty.

S an almost universal return to the classroom, came the conviction that the blackboard on which the teacher writes and from which the students silently copy is not enough for the quality education of the 21st century. Today, the presence of teachers and students in classrooms requires digital support speeding up learning recoverystrengthening interaction and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on Peruvian education.

As of 2020, only 43% of educational institutions in the country had Internet connectivity, and in rural areas only 11%. Let’s make a commitment that 100% of schools, teachers and students have the opportunity to develop their digital skills, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal of efforts to transform education is that every girl, boy and adolescent becomes a citizen who realizes his life project and contributes to the development of his family, his community and his country. This contributes to the transformation of the desire into reality a fairer world and a better country.

➡ Article published in El Peruano newspaper on September 25, 2022

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