Planning educational policy

09/17/2022 – 12:48 Opinion

By Cecilia Veleda. Doctor in Sociology of Education

The educational situation in the country has been very worrying for a long time. Already before 2020, barely half of young people completed compulsory schooling and half of them understood texts. Four out of ten third graders were not properly literate. Barely two strokes of the critical state of the education system, despite the increase in investment and schooling rates, or the efforts of governments and the good policies implemented from democracy. The prolonged closure of schools during the pandemic worsened the picture.

There is much talk of social indolence in the face of this crisis. There are those who think that the revived interest with the pandemic has already faded, that the only thing that matters to all of us is that the kids are in school, socialize and get the degree. Is it really so? Recent surveys show that for half the population, school is bad or innocuous. Mothers and fathers care about the school they send their children to and know when they pass the grade without learning much.

In any case, it is the responsibility of the leaders and of all those committed to education to mobilize and propose solutions. Education is a collective issue. But the Government bears the ultimate responsibility. The definition of priorities and policies, the distribution of resources, the coordination of teams for a good implementation, the construction of agreements with the actors involved, or the systematization of information and monitoring depend on it. As Mayra Arenas says, politics has an ethical duty to impose the right to education.

But it is not enough to say that education is important. Not even genuinely valuing her. Or with investing more. You have to know how to improve the entire educational system. And for that there is no universal formula. Due to the number of schools, the diversity of actors involved, the perpetuation of school identities and practices, or the delayed effects of teaching, educational policy is particularly complex. More in the context of the current economic, social and educational emergencies in the country.

The 2023 elections present a privileged opportunity to think of well-founded, viable and measurable plans for the next government period. The most frequent thing is that the new teams assume with general ideas, without a good transition with the previous ones, with cabinets chosen on the hour, without shared priorities.

From the Ministries of Education it has been managed through multiple programs for each of the educational problems. Mosaic of numerous, specific, disparate and disjointed actions to which objectives, references, equipment, didactic sequences and expense reports are associated, the arrival through programs parcels out the ministries and the system, in addition to generating a great dispersion of resources , energy and confusion.

What should be the priorities for the period 2024-2027? There are urgencies that are imposed by their own weight: to recover the young people who dropped out of school with proposals that allow them to develop a life project and improve the foundational knowledge of language and mathematics are some of them. It will be key to define the inalienable objectives and design converging strategies to achieve them.

It will also be necessary to move forward with a more ambitious agenda for the medium and long term, which could range from the professionalization of state capacities, through the reform of initial training and the teaching career, or the transformation of the pedagogical model to dialogue better with the needs of today’s world.

This planning should be based on diagnoses of the system and current policies, to identify which ones would be sustained and improved. Changes in education take time. We must give up the founding drive, as characteristic as it is harmful, to change all policies with each new minister. You have to build on what is built.

The plans should contemplate not only the content, but also the means of educational policy. We often get into discussions about which policies to prioritize without considering how they can be implemented. Do you have the political legitimacy, the economic resources, the information, or the technical capabilities to move forward with the envisioned changes?

We have been advancing for decades in schooling, but not in the knowledge and skills of each generation. Improvement is difficult but possible: this is shown by other countries or subnational states. As Fernando Savater puts it, a society that abandons education is somehow committing suicide. Are we foreseeing the ways to turn the course?

Source: Infobae

Planning educational policy – El Liberal