Table of Contents

  • This report for Colombia forms part of the OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools. Annex A gives further project details.

  • Spanish

    Colombia is a country of geographical and cultural diversity. The country has become largely urbanised, also driven by rural to urban migration as the result of poor living conditions and violence in rural areas. But rural life still plays a significant role in Colombia: taking density and distance into account, a little more than 30% of the population and between 60% and 76% of municipalities can be considered rural.

  • Spanish

    Colombia has witnessed strong and sustained economic growth since overcoming a deep recession in the late 1990s. In recent years, weaker trade and a fall in commodity prices have affected the Colombian economy, but the country has weathered these challenges better than other countries in the region. Nevertheless, slower growth and the country’s fiscal rule adopted in 2012 have narrowed the space for public expenditure.

  • This chapter provides the background to the remaining chapters of the report. It presents an overview of the broader economic, social and political context in Colombia. This includes differences in poverty and well-being between rural and urban areas and the achievement of reaching a peace agreement between the government and the FARC-EP. It also provides a description of the school system, including governance, structure and organisation. Finally, the chapter presents an analysis of the quality, equity and efficiency of school education, highlighting differences in coverage and quality between urban and rural areas, advantaged and disadvantaged students and girls and boys.

  • This chapter analyses how the school system is funded in Colombia. It presents a description of the level of expenditure on education, the sources of funding, and the specific funding mechanisms, including the Sistema General de Participaciones. While focusing on school education, the distribution of funding across different levels is also considered, including for early childhood education and care and tertiary education. The chapter analyses strengths and challenges with a particular focus on the extent to which the current funding approach helps address inequities between territories, schools and students. Finally, recommendations are presented, highlighting the need to reconcile the allocation of resources with set objectives, the need for a gradual approach in policy, and the importance of investing in greater local capacity.

  • This chapter looks at i) the organisation of the school network, including private school provision; ii) school governance, leadership and community participation; and iii) the organisation of teaching and learning in Colombia. This includes flexible school models, ethnic and special needs education, learning standards, instruction time, educational materials and evaluation. Transitions between school education and other levels and programmes, such as early childhood education provided by the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare and vocational training provided by the National Learning Service are also considered. The chapter analyses strengths and challenges with a particular focus on access to a good education in rural areas. Finally, recommendations are presented, highlighting the need to improve school clusters, transport and boarding while strengthening school leadership and collaboration between schools.

  • This chapter describes i) the main characteristics of the teaching profession; ii) the employment framework; and iii) initial education and ongoing teacher learning in Colombia. The teacher employment framework was reformed in 2002 while leaving the first framework in place for teachers recruited before 2002. The chapter covers both teacher statutes and the pending challenges in implementing the new statute successfully. While the statutes also regulate the employment of school leaders, school leadership is analysed in depth in Chapter 3. The chapter analyses strengths and challenges with a particular focus on the preparation and support for teachers to work with a range of learners, and the equitable and efficient recruitment of teachers, including to rural areas. Finally, it makes recommendations, highlighting the benefits of a more comprehensive vision of teacher professionalism built on collective capacities in schools.