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.


Early childhood education and care in Colombia

Colombia has made important strides in developing and expanding early childhood education and care (ECEC) in recent years, in particular for vulnerable and disadvantaged families. However, participation rates and quality in ECEC, particularly in rural areas, remain below OECD standards. This chapter examines challenges and solutions for developing a high quality and equitable ECEC system in Colombia. It analyses the importance of upgrading ECEC provision to improve the educational benefits gained at this level. It explores how Colombia can continue to expand access and reinforce the transition to school. The chapter also identifies the need for better co-ordination between different ECEC providers, in particular the National Ministry of Education (MEN) and the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), and looks at ways Colombia can strengthen the whole ECEC system through greater and more effective investment in the early years and improved accountability.


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