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.

This report has been developed as an input into the process of Colombia’s accession to the OECD. It provides an assessment of Colombia’s policies and practices compared to OECD best policies and practices in education and skills. It assesses the whole education system from early childhood education and care to tertiary education using five important principles of well-performing education systems:

  • a strong focus on improving learning outcomes

  • equity in educational opportunity

  • the ability to collect and use data to inform policy

  • the effective use of funding to steer reform

  • extended multi-stakeholder engagement in policy design and implementation.

The report highlights the many strengths of Colombia’s education system as well as its challenges and provides recommendations for improvement.

I hope this report will support Colombia in its reform efforts to enhance the quality and equity of its education system and strengthen the contribution of education and skills to economic and social growth of the country. The OECD is there to help Colombia in this effort.


Andreas Schleicher

Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General OECD