KIX LAC Conference: International organizations gathered for education in Latin America and the Caribbean

30 June 2022
Credit: KIX LAC

The education sector met on May 31 and June 1, 2022 at the 2nd KIX LAC International Conference “Post-Pandemic Education” organized by SUMMA, the first Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), with the support of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). High-level professionals and academic experts discussed strategies, research, tools, and innovations implemented to address the challenges of the recovery of comprehensive learning from global, regional, and national perspectives.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures have resulted in an unprecedented loss of learning, which has been the main challenge faced by Latin American and Caribbean countries in recent decades. In the aftermath of the crisis, educational communities continue to navigate the return of students and teachers to the classroom. 

Javier González, director of SUMMA, acknowledged the valuable work carried out by the continent’s most important organizations on educational issues and talked about how the pandemic lifted the veil, revealing the great inequalities within the region. He said, “We need to redefine policies and translate them to the context in which they will be used. We have to promote dialogue between ministries, academics, teachers’ colleges, parents, students, and everyone related to the education sector, to address the main challenges of the region: strengthening teacher training, strengthening public education, and responding to COVID-19. We must know how to address these three priorities based on evidence and how to empower communities to generate changes.”

From the global perspective, the conference provided the view of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development represented by Paulo Santiago, head of the Policy Advice and Implementation Division, who spoke about possible scenarios for education in the future and the opportunities created by the pandemic. He suggested the mission of education systems must be rethought, realizing and supporting the potential of each student and developing the capacity of educational stakeholders.

Santiago said, “The COVID-19 crisis imposed new demands on teachers that may persist into the future, and that is why teacher training must focus on the use of digital tools, differentiated instructional approaches, and strategies to support student well-being. In addition, more resources must be invested, especially for the most vulnerable students, recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each one.”

The second day of presentations was opened by Tricia Wind, Program Leader of GPE KIX, IDRC, who thanked SUMMA and OECS for the work and results of the KIX LAC hub and presented the other projects financed by GPE KIX in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dr. Suguru Mizunoya, Chief of the Education Unit and Senior Advisor on Statistics and Monitoring Education, and Manuel Enrique Cardoso, UNICEF Learning Specialist, gave a presentation on “Using Data to Improve Educational Equity and Inclusion – MICS-EAGLE in Guyana and Honduras.”

The event was attended by representatives from over 15 countries in the region and was broadcasted live on the KIX LAC YouTube channel.