Central Americans and other Latin Americans are feeling more concerned about what Trump can say or do, than over the only thing that can really change the fate of poverty in the region, which is education.
Why insist on making students learn French instead of applying the resources invested in teaching this language to other languages that are more in demand by the market such as English, Portuguese, German or Mandarin?
The design of school and college curriculums is supposed to be primarily based on the objectives of the political social project being promoted by the government, which should prioritise preparing students for incorporation into the national economy, complemented by cultural elements which should cover the ENTIRE population of the country.
Arguing anomalies in the evaluation of tenders, the consortium made up of Meco and Edificadora Centroamericana Rapiparedes has requested a suspension of the tender whose value is around $180 million.
The economic proposal submitted by the consortium that launched the appeal obtained the second best score, behind the consortium with the best score, of 893 points. The contract is to design and build the Higher Technical Institute of the East (ITSE by its initials in Spanish) in Tocumen.
The quality that the school system has today will determine the quality and development that the economy can achieve tomorrow.
Panama's decision to re-join the group of countries which every three years submit their education systems to the PISA test run by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will determine any lags that may exist in the model of education in respect to developed countries, and lay the foundation for analyzing the changes that need to be made to increase the capacity of analysis and understanding of students today, for better socio-economic development in the future.
A visit to Costa Rica by the German Education Minister has put back on the table the concept of dual education, an education method where time is shared between the traditional classroom and work as an apprentice in a trade or professional specialty, in a company.
In Panama the date for receipt of bids in the tender for the construction of the Higher Technical Institute of the East in Tocumen has been postponed until February 26.
The Ministry of the Presidency has postponed until February 26, 2016, the delivery of economic proposals for the design and construction of the Higher Technical Institute East (ITSE) in the province of Panama.
Despite its development in advanced countries, including the more established social democracies, dual education is fundamentally opposed by those who will always be threatened by any changes.
As with education unions throughout Latin America, where there is an imperative need for radical changes in education systems which are increasingly lagging behind the rest of the world, in Costa Rica the corporation of education workers is radically opposed to any changes, even those that have proven successful in countries with political systems focused on social welfare such as the European social democracies, as is dual education.
Dual education is a system which corrects the permanent discrepancy that exists between centralized education and labor supply, reducing youth unemployment and increasing the productivity of economies.
The use of professional training is the foundation for the success of Germany's productivity, and has been adopted in most European countries, with particular strength in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany it has helped the country to maintain a low rate of youth unemployment and has ensured a supply of technical experts for their companies and from this the competitiveness of the German economy has increased.
The private sector is proposing that universities develop courses at a technical level in areas such as electronics or hospitality, rather than just focusing on higher level academic degrees and diplomas.
This shift in the educational system which it is hoped will happen in universities would need to be a public-private joint effort, since, according to presidential advisor Bayardo Arce, "... Low levels of science, technology and innovation have affected economic development .... "
The unemployment rate now reaches 10% in a population where 60% of workers have not completed high school, but teachers refuse to be evaluated on their ability in subjects they teach.
An article in Nacion.com cites statements by Victor Morales, Minister of Labour, on the rising unemployment levels in Costa Rica: "...There is a mismatch between supply and demand in the corporate sector. There is a demand for skilled technicians; but most of the Costa Rican labor force is unskilled. 60% have not finished high school; it is a national drama. "
In Costa Rica the 14% increase in funds for state universities has generated discussion even within the sector, over which stages of education produces better results from investment in terms of economic performance and social justice.
The analyst Francisco Villalobos in his article on Crhoy.com reports on the data regarding investments made by middle class families in the education of their children, noting that "the budget increase demanded by universities should be directed towards primary and secondary education therefore the state can support families when they most need support. "
Tuition and enrollment fees of 43 private educational institutions teaching Pre-school, Primary, PreMiddle and Middle (Bachelor).
The Authority for Consumer Protection and Antitrust, ACODECO, has carried out a non-probability sampling trial, which is based on a list of 43 private colleges who were sent note to invite them to participate in a survey which is carried out annually on registration and tuition fees of private schools in the City of Panama.
The Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC, University of San Carlos of Guatemala) was one of the earliest universities to be founded in the Americas. It was decreed a university on January 31, 1676 by royal command of King Charles II of Spain. It had previously been known as the Escuela de Santo Tomás (School of Saint Thomas), founded in 1562 by the priest Francisco Marroquín. The University finally gained international acceptance by Official Decree from Pope Innocent XI, on June 18, 1687.
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