The Debate on the Future of Education and the Proposed Reform: Balancing Goals with Financial Realities

The bill filed last week by the Executive, which seeks a fundamental reform of education through a statutory law, has opened the debate on the direction that this fundamental right should take in the country.

The government initiative defines education as a “progressive fundamental right” at all levels. In the first instance, this is certainly a laudable purpose, but the fact that it is a goal that we all want to reach cannot curtail the debate on which is the indicated path in light of the country’s fiscal reality. And that is when voices arise from experts who affirm that the problems that serve as introductory support, which are real and felt, do not need this law to be resolved. Actions are required whose only impediment is that they have not been undertaken (some due to their cost) or that they have been advancing for years, but perhaps too slowly. The great danger here is that declaration replaces actions.

A law of this magnitude requires a calculation of possible, immediate and future costs. Not only is it worrying that this information is not available, which is essential to draw up any roadmap and then be able to monitor its progress, but it is also worrying that the alternative formula is to grant the President extraordinary powers to achieve the amount – we reiterate, unknown – that is required. its implementation.

It is urgent to contemplate new pedagogies and learning paths in a world that is rapidly transforming.

It has also been objected that the declaration of education as a right could generate legal problems, the so-called “tutelatones” and obligations that the State could not fulfill. Faced with such questions, the Executive has said that the progressive nature of the right to education in the new statutory law seeks to avoid these scenarios. But it happens that without being clear about the scope of this “progressive”, the obligation ceases to be so. That is, the law becomes harmless. At the same time as this initiative, another is advancing, still under discussion and draft, which aims to reform Law 30 of 1992. It would be very convenient for all the sectors that are concerned to participate in the discussions. Last week, a letter signed by four presidents of major private universities raised legitimate concerns from their sector.

See also  unions and supervision dissect the draft statute

In any case, it is time to say that whatever initiative prospers, it must have the search for greater quality as its goal, which implies covering new modalities that do not exist today in the country, but that are already appearing in other countries. latitudes. Likewise, the recognition of the right to secondary education requested by the rectors is key; the use of innovative, sometimes disruptive technologies, the possibility of adaptation and very rapid change of curricula; the opening and participation in international markets (with all the urgent need to reduce procedures) and, most especially, new pedagogies and learning paths in a world that is rapidly transforming and in which there are avalanches of information of very short duration. All of the above requires a new, futuristic vision, a break with the anchorage to the past system, which must be assumed as an opportunity for this perspective to be included in the texts that have been known.


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