Visions and perspectives on quality education in Latin America and Oceania

The progress of societies can take place in various ways but, without a doubt, through education it is one of the most prosperous ways to achieve progress. Generating knowledge, knowing about culture and forming more educated people and communities, allow development and socioeconomic growth.

This is why obtaining quality education is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) launched by the United Nations Organization in 2015. SDG number 4 seeks to guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote opportunities for lifelong learning for all.

Around this important topic, Education New Zealand, the New Zealand government’s government agency for international education, developed the March 30 Kōrerorero on the quality of education.

The event featured three very important panelists: Dr. Dawn Freshwater, Chancellor of the University of Auckland; Dr. Sandra Goulart, Rector of the Federal University of Minas Gerais; and as representative of Colombia, Dr. Alejandro Ceballos, Rector of the University of Caldas.

The three of them talked and gave their opinions about the panorama of education in Colombia, Brazil and New Zealand. In addition, they explained how their different institutions face challenges in educational issues and how they have been working to offer better education, reduce gender, geographic and even cognitive gaps in student communities.

Dr. Dawn opened the round of interventions with a phrase that perfectly frames SDG 4 and the objective of this Kōrerorero: “Education transforms lives”. According to the academic, education is the engine that drives different areas of society from public institutions, contributes to the generation of better policies and allows planning for the future and facing current problems, among other aspects.

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In the Colombian case and, specifically, the University of Caldas, headed by Dr. Ceballos explained actions on how they have been working to reduce gaps and inequality through strategic alliances with private and public sectors.

“Currently, the University of Caldas is taking academic programs to Colombian rural areas. This, as a response to the needs of the people who live in these areas and who suffer or face different economic and displacement situations. In addition, our university is constantly looking for resources to provide these opportunities to people”, said Ceballos.

Finally, Dr. Sandra Goulart explained how it seeks to guarantee access to quality training for young people in Brazil. Inequality in the country is very high, for this reason, in the last 15 years, the University of Minas Gerais and the federal universities reserve 50% of quotas for low-income students.

“We have a commitment to quality education, while offering inclusion, democratization and access for our students. This is an objective in itself, both quality and education. We cannot have one without the other, this is one of our priorities”, Goulart pointed out.

The complete talk with the interventions and reflections of each of the panelists, can be found on the channel of YouTube, Study in New Zealand. There you can see in detail and learn more about the importance of quality education and how it is being offered in different latitudes and with various actions.

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