Education in Colombia

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How can Colombia improve both the quality and equity of its education system while also addressing efficiency challenges? Despite a fundamental transformation of its education system over the past two decades, Colombia faces two critical challenges: high levels of inequality from the earliest years and low levels of quality across its education system. This report assesses Colombia’s policies and practices against the best approaches in education and skills from across the OECD. It analyses its education system’s major strengths and the challenges it faces, from early childhood education and care to tertiary education. With insights drawn from international research, it offers recommendations on how Colombia can improve quality and equity to reach its goal of being the “most educated” country in Latin America by 2025. This report will be of interest in Colombia as well as other countries looking to raise the quality, equity and efficiency of their education systems.


Colombia and its education system

Colombia’s transition towards peace and higher levels of development depends on many factors, but none will be more important to the country’s future than its ability to build a strong education system. Colombia has many assets: a young population, rich natural resources and an open economy. To turn this potential into the foundation for strong and inclusive growth will require higher levels of learning and skills. This chapter looks at the socio-economic factors that will influence Colombia’s transformation to a more educated country. It provides an overview of how the education system in Colombia is organised and analyses the major trends in access, quality and equity. The final section examines the structural factors within the education sector – governance, financing and use of information – and how they can be harnessed to support reform efforts.


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