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Advancing educational quality assessment in Latin America and the Caribbean

Advancing educational quality assessment in Latin America and the Caribbean
Advancing educational quality assessment in Latin America and the Caribbean

Representatives from 19 countries affirmed their commitment to advancing educational quality assessment at a regional meeting held from April 3rd to 5th, 2024, in San Andrés, Colombia. Organized by the Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education (ICFES) and supported by the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Santiago and its Latin American Laboratory for the Evaluation of Educational Quality (LLECE), the event culminated in the signing of the Colombia Declaration. This declaration underscored the participants' dedication to fostering evidence-based evaluations of educational standards.

The meeting saw active participation from member countries of the LLECE Laboratory, along with representatives from key organizations like the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, and the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF). Evaluation agencies from across Latin America and the Caribbean also contributed, emphasizing the collaborative effort to leverage evaluation data for informed decision-making in educational recovery and transformation initiatives.

Discussions during the meeting focused on leveraging evaluation as a dynamic tool, particularly in identifying areas of learning impacted by the pandemic. The SER evaluation, introduced by the Secretary of Education of Bogotá, highlighted the importance of assessing not just academic knowledge but also holistic development aspects in students. Experts emphasized the need for evolving evaluation methodologies to align with current needs and contexts across countries.

Carlos Henríquez, the general coordinator of UNESCO's LLECE Laboratory, emphasized the event's role in strengthening educational quality in Latin America and the Caribbean through shared experiences and best practices. Elizabeth Blandón, the general director of ICFES, highlighted evaluation's transformative potential in shaping a promising future for education in the region.

Building on the momentum from previous meetings, including the 2023 event in Venezuela, this gathering reinforced a collective commitment to advancing educational evaluation agendas for regional improvements. The Colombia Declaration, signed by the attending countries, outlined key priorities such as enhancing UNESCO's LLECE Laboratory's coordinating role, contributing to recovery frameworks, and establishing working groups for early childhood, migration, and special educational needs. These efforts signify a shared vision among countries to leverage evaluation as a catalyst for educational progress and equity in the region.


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