UNESCO recognizes Cuba’s educational accomplishments

• The country’s population has the highest educational level in Latin America
By Linet Perera Negrín (Granma International)

Herman van Hooff, director of UNESCO’s regional cultural office, reported February 5 that Cuba’s accomplishments in implementing the United Nations ‘Education for All’ (EFA) objectives are recognized worldwide.

The six objectives include expansion of early childhood care and education; provision of universal free and compulsory primary education; opportunities for young people and adults to learn life skills; the development of adult literacy, gender parity and quality education.

The ‘Education for All’ effort guided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is directed toward meeting universal educational needs. Progress toward meeting the objectives was described in UNESCO’s 11th report on teaching and learning 2013-2014, recently shared in Havana.

Van Hooff assured Granma that he is pleased with Cuba’s accomplishments and mentioned several of the country’s outstanding achievements such as the early childhood education program Educa a tu hijo, quality primary education and Cuba’s renowned adult literacy campaign.

He emphasized that Cuba has the highest EFA Development index (EDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The rating is a composite figure based on progress on four of the six EFA goals. These are the objectives focused on universal primary education, adult literacy, quality of education and gender equity, selected given the availability of data in these areas.

The report also highlighted the fact that, among all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba dedicates the highest percentage of its Gross Domestic Product to education, 13%.

Despite progress made in several countries, the report concludes that the basic EFA goals will not be achieved and that the issue of education must be a central priority on the UN’s post-2015 development agenda.

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