Coinciding with the general elections that took place last weekend in Guatemala and that have concluded with the election of Jimmy Morales as President of the country, a large pool of Jesuit educational institutions have presented EJEGUA, a proposal for educational priorities that the new President will have to take into account in order to guarantee a public educational system that lives up to the Guatemalan population.
This advocacy initiative is mainly driven by the Rafael Landívar University -URL-, the Loyola school, the Javier Lyceum, the Educational foundation Fe y Alegría, the Guatemalan Institute of radiophonic education -IGER- and the labour educational Project Puente Belice. Currently, these institutions offer training at all educational levels for more than 100.000 boys, girls, young people and adults distributed all over the country. From high school to university level, and in different modalities of formal education, formal and non-formal extracurricular education and technical professional training. Thus, they believe that the current circumstances that the country is going through represent an opportunity to become an inter-institutional group that contributes to the analysis and the proposal to improve the educational situation in Guatemala, as nowadays it presents serious problems that especially affect vulnerable groups.
This document proposes the reduction of the educational desertion and the extensive coverage, “strengthening the general scholarship programs and the scholarships for the accelerated formal education or second chance education for young poor people that abandoned the educational system, can open a window of opportunity for them.” They alert about the high percentage of young people that don’t study nor work (25,1% or around 800.000 youngsters according to the INE) and propose the strengthening of the comprehensive technical training and the generator of decent employment opportunities by the State. Moreover, they propose the improvement of the educational quality from the learning methods and subjects, including fundamental competences for life using learning contexts that encourage their development as active citizens that are engaged with the social and environmental surroundings in which they live. They also highlight the importance of endowing the educational system of quality, with well trained and well-paid educators and from the relevant and adapted education centres.
While other countries already exceeded the 6%, Guatemala only destined the 3.2% of their GDP for education in 2015, therefore, in the document they urge to increase social investment improving the fundraising and reducing corruption, to create alliances with other state and autonomous institutions that could support education. Lastly and as a revindication against the short termism of the public policies, they think that the educational priorities and the budget allocation for this policy can’t suffer any electioneering alterations and should be established as a priority for the State of Guatemala.
News item extracted from complete article here (in Spanish)