Glossary of terms

Canasta educativa

The technical criteria (“educational basket”) which define the resources and components required to provide education. It includes, amongst others, human resources, pedagogical materials, transport and meals, and is made up of a basic and a complementary basket.

Comité Territorial de Formación Docente (CTFD)

Bodies established in territories to support the Secretaries of Education of the certified territorial entities in the development, monitoring and evaluation of their territorial teacher education plan.

Contracted private provision of education

In case of limited capacity in terms of staff or infrastructure or some other limitation, certified territorial entities can provide education through various forms of partnerships with private providers regulated by Decree 1851 of 2015.

Derechos Básicos de Aprendizaje (DBA)

Building on previous curricular guidelines and standards, the Basic Learning Rights define the learning framework for each level and subject area and provide information about the competencies that children should acquire.

Evaluación de Carácter Diagnóstico Formativo (ECDF)

Voluntary competency assessment for teachers of the new teacher statute adopted in 2002 for promotion to a higher grade or step in the salary scale.

Día de la Excelencia Educativa (Día E)

A day in the school calendar dedicated to analysing school performance and quality and to initiating an improvement plan.

Entidades Territoriales Certificadas (ETC)

Refers to sub-national entities (departmental, district, and municipal) that are certified to provide education within their territory through their Secretary of Education. Municipalities that are not certified are referred to as “non-certified municipalities”; provision in these municipalities is managed by departments.

Escuela Normal Superior (ENS)

Higher teaching schools offering all levels of compulsory education, with a specialisation in pedagogy in secondary education, as well as initial teacher education for pre-primary and primary education through a complementary programme.

Estrategia De Cero a Siempre

Colombia’s multi-sectoral policy for comprehensive early childhood development, encompassing health, nutrition, protection and early childhood education in different forms of provision.


Policy for the provision of education to ethnic minorities with the purpose of respecting and maintaining ethnic language, culture and values, regulated by Decree 804 of 1995.

Fondo de Servicios Educativos (FSE)

Schools’ financial accounts receiving resources from the General System of Transfers. The use of funds has to be approved by the school’s directive council, be related with the school’s educational project, and be in line with regulations.

Formato Único Territorial (FUT)

The Single Territorial Format consolidates financial, economic and social information of the territorial entities at the central level for the purpose of monitoring, evaluation and control.

Índice Sintético de Calidad Educativa (ISCE)

A multidimensional index of school performance. The index is calculated individually for each level of education, takes into account four components and ranges from 1 to 10. It is used to measure the performance of schools, certified territorial entities, and the system as a whole.

Jornada Única

Refers to a full school day compared to traditional double-shift schooling (doble jornada) and the programme to implement a longer school day in public education.

Juntas de Educación (JUNE, JUDE, JUME)

The National Education Board (JUNE) should act as an advisory body to the ministry of education, while the departmental, district and municipal education boards (JUDE and JUME) should advise, monitor and approve policies and curricular frameworks. The different boards have stopped functioning, but there are plans to re-establish them.

Mallas de Aprendizaje

Pedagogical and didactic tools to help teachers implement the Basic Learning Rights (DBA).

Modelos Educativos Flexibles (MEF)

Pedagogical models designed to address different student needs, from rural and adult education to peace education, among others, by adapting curricula and pedagogy to the context in which they are implemented.

Programas de Desarrollo con Enfoque Territorial (PDET)

An important element within the framework of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC. These Development Programmes with a Territorial Approach focus efforts within the framework of a comprehensive rural reform programme on the zones most affected by the conflict and poverty.

Plan Especial de Educación Rural (PEER)

The peace agreement between the government and the FARC entails the development of national plans to improve public services and infrastructure in rural areas as part of a comprehensive rural reform programme. For education, this includes actions in the form of a Special Rural Education Plan.

Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (PND)

Designed at the national level and approved by Congress, the National Development Plan guides budget and policy decisions and provides a basis for evaluating the achievement of set goals and objectives. Territorial development plans are developed by departments and municipalities.

Proyecto Educativo Institucional (PEI)

The school’s educational project, establishing the school goals and objectives, the human and material resources required to achieve those goals, the pedagogical strategy and study plan, the school community handbook and the school’s governing bodies. Required for all schools to function.

Programa de Alimentación Escolar (PAE)

The School Meal Programme provides a food supplement to children and adolescents throughout the country to provide them with macro- and micronutrients, and to contribute to retaining them in school education.

Programa de Educación Rural (PER)

A prominent initiative to improve education in rural areas, involving a first (2001-06, PER I) and a second phase (2008-15, PER II) and funded through World Bank loans.

Programa Todos a Aprender (PTA)

A multidimensional programme designed and implemented by the ministry of education to improve student learning in language and mathematic. Targets schools with low performance through a cascade teacher training model.

Pruebas Saber

Standardised assessment implemented by the educational evaluation institute (ICFES). Assessments are administered periodically in Years 3, 5 and 9 for a sample of students. The examination in Year 11 carries high stakes for individual students and determines access to tertiary education.

Plan Territorial de Formación Docente (PTFD)

Strategy of certified territorial entities and their Secretaries of Education for teachers’ professional development.

Rural Mission

A strategy for rural development, developed by the National Planning Department, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, targeting economic, social and environmental dimensions.

School cluster

Describes the organisation of public schools into a main school site typically offering all levels of education, including higher levels, and a number of smaller sites offering only some levels. The main site is referred to as educational institution and the other sites as educational centres.

Sistema Educativo Índigena Propio (SEIP)

A process to provide ethnic minorities with greater autonomy through the creation of their own intercultural education systems. Among these, the Individual Indigenous Educational System (SEIP) is the most advanced.

Ser Pilo Paga

A scholarship programme for tertiary education for the best students from the most disadvantaged households.

Sistema General de Participaciones (SGP)

System for sharing revenues between the central government and sub-national governments. The transfers include resources destined to finance the provision of school education.

Sistema General de Regalías (SGR)

System for sharing royalties from the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources, especially oil, between sub-national entities.

Sistema de Responsabilidad Penal para Adolescentes (SRPA)

System that governs the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by adolescents 14 to 18 years of age. Provides the framework for the provision of education for youth in conflict with the law, regulated by Decree 2383 of 2015.


An information system designed to target social protection to families in need.

Teacher Statutes 1278 and 2277

Statute 2277 provides the employment framework for all public school teachers recruited until 2002; Statute 1278 provides the employment framework for all public school teachers recruited since 2002. The main changes relate to entry requirements, recruitment, salaries and evaluation. Educators of ethnic minorities are employed under Decree 804.

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