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BRIEF

My education, our future

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Latin America and the Caribbean has endured one of the longest spells of school closures. The region was hit disproportionately hard in health, economic, and educational terms. In the region, an entire generation of students – approximately 170 million – were fully deprived of in-person education for roughly 1 out of 2 effective school days to date.

The effects of the pandemic on the education sector of the region have been severe:

  • The overall impact on the out-of-school population was limited by the end of 2021 thanks to protective policies, but more data are needed to fully assess this impact in 2021/2022 as millions of children and teenagers are at risk of dropping out for falling behind academically.
  • Expected and real learning losses are very high, and more severe for earlier grades, younger children, and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Average primary education scores in reading and math would fall to levels of more than 10 years ago, in a context where improvements were already very slow. About 4 in 5 sixth graders may not be able to adequately understand and interpret a text of moderate length.
  • Learning losses would translate into a decrease of about 12 percent in lifetime earnings for a student at school today.
  • Psychosocial health and well-being have also been greatly affected.
Latin America and the Caribbean faces an unprecedented education crisis, which could compromise our countries’ future development. The fact that a large majority of sixth graders may not be able to understand what they read, jeopardizes the future well-being of millions of children who have not developed critical foundational skills, which increases the risks to deepen the already long-standing inequities in the region
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Carlos Felipe Jaramillo
World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean

The incipient recovery must focus on returning to schooling and, especially, recovering and accelerating learning:

  • The return to schooling agenda should encompass: (i) safely and sustainably reopening all schools; (ii) re-enrolling
  • all students; and (iii) preventing dropouts.
  • The recovering and accelerating learning agenda must comprise: (i) prioritizing and consolidating curricula;
  • (ii) assessing learning levels; and (iii) implementing at scale learning recovery strategies and programs.

In a nutshell, this agenda entails the urgent and comprehensive implementation of four commitments:

  • A commitment to place the education recovery at the top of the public agenda.
  • A commitment to reintegrate all the children that abandoned school and ensure they stay in it.
  • A commitment to recover lost learning and ensure the socio-emotional well-being of children.
  • A commitment to value, support and train teachers.

Gabriel Boric

President of Chile

Gabriel Boric was elected president of Chile in March 2022. In 2009, Boric began his career as a student leader. Between 2010 and 2011, he served as a university senator at the University of Chile, and in 2012 he assumed the presidency of the Federation of Students of the University of Chile (Fech). In March 2014, he was elected deputy for Magallanes District 60.