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 has made education a main priority to improve the economic and social prosperity of the country and pledged more resources to this sector than any other policy area. It has already made great leaps towards providing a quality and inclusive education. It has managed to lengthen the period of time Colombian children go to school, and to ensure more are entering the system at an earlier age and continuing to tertiary education, in particular amongst the most disadvantaged. Quality assurance mechanisms and efforts to improve the teaching profession have been introduced. These are remarkable achievements considering the socio-economic challenges and regional disparities Colombia faces. Sustaining this progress will be central to realising Colombia’s ambitions to become the most educated country in Latin America.


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