The education sector met at the 2nd KIX LAC International Conference “Education in Post-Pandemic”, organized by SUMMA, the first Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States – OECS -, with the support of the Global Partnership for Education – GPE – and the International Development Research Centre – IDRC – and the participation of high-level professionals and academic experts to discuss strategies, research, tools and innovations implemented to address the challenges of the recovery of comprehensive learning from a global, regional and national perspective.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures have resulted in the largest unprecedented loss of learning, which has been the main challenge faced by Latin American and Caribbean countries in recent decades. In the aftermath of the crisis, educational communities continue to face the return of students and teachers to the classroom.
Javier González, director of SUMMA, acknowledged the valuable work carried out by the continent’s most important organizations on educational issues and remarked that the pandemic lifted the veil, revealing the great inequalities we have in our region, “we need to redefine policies and translate them to the context in which they will be generated. We have to promote dialogue between ministries, academics, teachers’ colleges, parents, students and everyone related to the education sector, to address the main challenges of the region, which are the strengthening of teacher training, the strengthening of public education and actions to be taken in the face of Covid-19. We must know how to address these three priorities based on evidence and how to empower communities to generate changes”.
From the global perspective, the conference provided the view of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD – represented by Paulo Santiago, head of the Policy Advice and Implementation Division (PAI), who spoke about the scenarios that are envisioned for education in the future and the opportunities created by the pandemic, where the mission of education systems must be rethought, realizing and supporting the potential of each student and developing the capacity of educational agents.
Santiago said that “the Covid-19 crisis imposed new demands on teachers that may persist into the future and that is why teacher training must focus on the use of digital tools, differentiated instructional approaches and strategies to support student well-being. In addition, more resources must be invested, especially for the most vulnerable students, recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each one.
Sisera Simon, Programme Director Education Development Management Unit of OECS, thanked the joint work developed together with SUMMA for the growth of the KIX LAC program, and highlighted the common point of the presentations that showed that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the problems of educational equity, We need to rethink and commit ourselves to improving access to quality education and from OECS we are convinced that this global experience has given us a cornerstone to understand and ensure the school success of every child”.
The second day of presentations was opened by Tricia Wind, Program Leader of GPE KIX – IDRC – who thanked SUMMA and OECS for the work and results of the KIX LAC program and presented the other projects financed by IDRC in Latin America and the Caribbean. The organizations present at this event were UNICEF, SUMMA, PAL Network, CEIBAL Foundation, Education 2020 Foundation, Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED); Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), World Vision Canada, FOSDEH, Center for Universal Education Brookings Institution, Université d’Etat d’Haiti, Campus Limonade; Fundación Fe y Alegría, Wilfrid Laurier University, Raise your Voice Saint Lucia and The People Action Learning Network.
Dr. Suguru Mizunoya, Chief of the Education Unit and Senior Advisor on Statistics and Monitoring Education and Manuel Enrique Cardoso, UNICEF Learning Specialist, made the presentation “Using Data to Improve Educational Equity and Inclusion – MICS-EAGLE in Guyana and Honduras”.
To conclude the meeting, Raúl Chacón, director of the KIX LAC Program, emphasized that “these were two very intense days of learning about experiences and innovations that are occurring in our region, which address educational improvement in a comprehensive manner, from the socio-emotional dimension of students and teachers to concrete work strategies to improve learning and educational management… Although it has been challenging, the pandemic has opened new opportunities to think about education towards the future”.
The event was attended by representatives from more than 15 countries in the region and was broadcast live on the Youtube channel.