Skip to Main Navigation

My education, our future

Colombia will lead the regional event: A Commitment to Action

Let us all work for the education of children and teens in the region. Colombia hosted an unprecedented meeting of key leaders in education from several Latin American and Caribbean countries on March 22-23.  

Despite significant efforts undertaken by governments, teachers and parents during the schools closures that took place during the pandemic, children have lost—on average—1.5 years of learning. As a result of two years of school closures in the region, learning results could have regressed more than ten years.

If action is not taken soon, via the necessary education-sector reforms, four out of every five sixth-grade students in Latin America and the Caribbean will not be able to read a simple text.

The youngest and poorest have been the most affected, preliminary evidence from several countries show that losses are greater at the primary than the secondary level; among students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, learning losses are such that many of them are at risk of abandoning school altogether.

Learning Recovery is Key

Recovery starts with a commitment. Colombia joined a global commitment to guarantee foundational skills to its children, and it is now leading and summoning other countries to join the cause of education. This effort builds on a regional declaration to protect and recover learning losses that was endorsed last year by the presidents of Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Honduras.

This meeting is a call for all governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to join Colombia with a commitment to the education of all youngsters and to invest in them, thus guaranteeing a better future for the entire region. It is also an opportunity to analyze the current problems of the sector, draw up a roadmap and share experiences that guarantee the recovery of basic learning for children and adolescents in the region.

A live stream of this event will be shared via our social media.

Let us get #ACommitmentToAction for education.


Banner - english

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
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.