International experts who met in Cuba highlighted that, even though illiteracy has been eradicated in many countries in the region, a sustained effort is required in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop a comprehensive and diverse system of education.
During the 12th International Early and Preschool Education Seminar held in July in Havana, teachers from more than 20 countries called for greater cultural diversity in the current context of their respective societies.
The topic was addressed in a panel entitled “Social Policies, Cultural Diversity and Comprehensive Development in the First years of Childhood,” and was defended by – amongst others – professors Guillermo Arias of Cuba, Virginia Tanca of Guatemala, and Pedro Apala of Bolivia.
During his presentation, Arias called for further advances in society’s cultural and educational diversity and the fight against inequality and all forms of discrimination, prejudice and differences caused by consumer societies.
„Diversity lies in the context of family, school and social education and it is when a subject goes from one environment to another that is ever more diverse, understanding must be first fostered in the family home,” he said.
Arias said that compared to ten years ago, regional achievements on working methods have been attained, thanks in no small part to “Cuba and international organizations that prioritize educational work in these first levels of teaching.”
Tanca admitted that her country still has to work to do in this regard, and stressed that the role of parents is not only crucial in the education of children, especially indigenous children, but also in the work done by community educators in a society where there are significant levels of discrimination .
She noted that in Guatemala, four indigenous cultures exist side by side, and 25 languages are spoken, making it necessary emphasize community based education, starting in the home and in harmony with mother nature.
Apala stressed that political work is needed for indigenous people to be accepted by society, and praised the role played by President Evo Morales since coming to power in 2006.
He added that an integration phase was then introduced to initialize a process of change for farmers, indigenous citizens and social movements that had been discriminated by an elite bourgeoisie who had governed the nation until then.
Commenting on the subject, the Bolivian Deputy Education Minister, Juan José Quiroz, praised developments in the sector and thanked Cuba for the experience conveyed by its professionals.
This, he noted, facilitated a reduction in the rate of illiteracy from 13.28 percent in 2005 to 2.94 percent by the end of 2015 and school leaving before the legal age decreased from 6 to 1.2 percent in that same period of time.
Miriam Díaz, president of the organizing committee and director of the Center of Latin American Reference for Preschool Education, called for ongoing support for those countries that still lack education systems designed to benefit every sector of society.Share on FB Share on TT