On March 29-30, the Ministers and Vice-Ministers of education from the 41 countries of Latin American and Caribbean region held a two-day meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to take stock of the progress of the Regional Education Project for Latin American and the Caribbean (PRELAC) coordinated by UNESCO. In Latin America and the Caribbean, despite pronounced inequalities, there has been a decrease in the rate of illiteracy
since the beginning of this decade. Still according to data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, some 38.6 million adults in the region (55% of them women) cannot read or write. This figure, combined with the 88 million people over the age of 15 who were unable to complete their primary schooling, represents a major challenge for educational policies.
Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Argentine Minister of Education, Daniel Filmus opened the meeting focusing primarily on how the region can attain quality education for all by 2017
. The progress review of PRELAC concluded the following:
quality education for all, is a public good and a fundamental human right that States must respect, promote and safeguard, so as to guarantee equal opportunity in the access and appropriation of knowledge;
the role of the teacher is crucial in the educational process – how the profession is exercised, its quality and the policies in this domain, as well as increasing public spending allocated to education are necessary.