The situation of education in Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the issues on debate at the 16th Congress, Pedagogia 2019, a forum still held on Wednesday in Havana with more than 600 Cuban and foreign delegates.
The meeting that gathers officials, specialists and professors from about 40 countries is part of discussions to comply with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the one dedicated to achieve an inclusive and equitable education. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Program specialist Vincenzo Placco, achieving that goal in the region is a challenge, considering that about 14 million children and young people are out of school. Addressing the event that takes place at the Convention Center in Havana until Friday, the expert said that within this figure, about 3,600,000 primary school children are not attending classes. Placco stressed that UNICEF intends to implement a strategic plan based on the development of skills such as reading-writing, mathematics and other related to the digital age. The UNICEF representative also insisted on the importance of the inclusion in children with disabilities and minorities, sectors often marginalized. Cuban delegates presented in the forum a reality different from that of some Latin American nations regarding education, as of the existence in Cuba of a high schooling rate and programs to improve education. Education Minister Ena Elsa Velazquez ratified during Pedagogia 2019 opening ceremony on Monday, Cuba's priority to preserve access policies and all children, youth and adolescents attend classes. Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Vocational Training in Bolivia Eduardo Cortez shared in the congress his country's experiences to boost an inclusive education.