UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization



International seminar:
How to finance the right to education in Chile

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International seminar: <br>How to finance the right to education in Chile
  • © UNESCO / C.Jerez

The Chilean National Forum on Quality Education for All (ECPT), with the support of UNESCO, organised a forum to discuss Chile’s educational model, an international seminar on “How to finance the Right to Education: Towards the institution of free, quality obligatory education”. The event was held on 20 October, 2011, at the Aula Magna of the Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez in Santiago de Chile.

Download seminar's presentations (in Spanish)

The event brought together students, teachers, stakeholders and education specialists do discuss the issue of the right to a quality education for all, in order to address the issue of financing, analysing worldwide experiences on the consequences of public-private partnerships for education privatization and the characteristics of progressive education privatization in Chile.

Participants included Antonio Verger, a faculty member and researcher at the sociology department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; José Marcelino de Rezende Pinto, a faculty member and researcher at the department of philosophy and letters of the Universidade de São Paulo, and Marco Kremerman of the Fundación Sol. Comments were made on presentations by Cristián Pizarro, spokesperson of the students of technical-professional institutions, and Giorgio Jackson, spokesperson of the Confederación de Estudiantes de Chile.

Priority discussion

Education financing has been one of the core issues in the demands and proposals made by members of the student movement. Current dialogue includes a wide range of ideas regarding the structure and financing of the education system.

The ECPT forum hopes to contribute to the debate from the perspective of the right to education, asking the cost of accessing and completing education for all children and young people, in conditions of equality and quality, including the provision of free higher education.

In his talk on "Public-private partnerships and new education privatization policies on the global agenda", Spanish academic Antoni Verger analysed the influence of the World Bank on global education policies in terms of private sector participation in public education. He stated that the results of the privatization of education – or the creation of quasi-markets – had lead to inequality, and that evidence shows that promised advances in terms of quality have not been seen.

In his talk, Universidade de São Paulo researcher Marcelino de Rezende who was a participant in the calculation of the cost of the right to education using a participative methodology, commented that Brazil has a pending duty in terms of equitative access to higher education. He stated that progress has been made in increasing efforts towards a more equitative distribution between local governments of different levels of income, thus increasing budget equity in public primary and secondary education. However, he said that resources must be quadrupled in order to achieve reasonable equality rates.

Cristián Pizarro, spokesperson of the students of technical-professional institutions, explained that in Chile these institutions do not meet a clearly set objective, as quite apart from their financing problems they have no place in the current day development of the country. He said that progress must be made in the context of a more deeply ingrained industrialization that adds value and requires technically qualified human resources in order to meet the challenges faced by a country in phases of development.

Marco Kremerman, of the Fundación Sol, gave a presentation of changes in the Chilean education structure, moving from a public system with a certain number of state subsidized private bodies, to a model in which, by 2012, barely 35% of schools will be state run – and yet where no major leap forward in education quality has been seen.

Giorgio Jackson, spokesperson of the Confederación de Estudiantes de Chile (CONFECH) gave a talk in which he stated that as education is a right, it must be accessible for all under equal conditions. He said that it therefore must be free, and that if the small sector of the population (3%) able to finance education also exercises its right at no cost, this does not imply a regressive policy so long as such persons recompense the State through taxes. He added that the Chilean student movement aims to make progress towards equity and to create a society that is more conscious of its rights and of the necessity of participating in the decisions that affect it.

The National Forum on Education for All shall continue to organize these discussion meetings in Chile. For more information on these events, please visit www.educacionparatodos.cl

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National Forum on Education for All
Founded in 2003, this is a pluralist organization for dialogue and action that hopes to contribute to the achievement of the goals set forth in the Education for All Global Framework for Action (Dakar, 2000).

Its members share a view of education as a public good and a fundamental human right; they reject current inequity in education, and see the State, public policies, and citizen participation as the main instruments that society possesses in order to provide for the right to a quality education for all of its members.

During its history, the Forum has shed light on inequalities and inequities in the exercise of the right to education in Chile, putting forward criticism and proposals for the achievement of quality education for all.

The Forum forms part of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) and the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).

  • 24-10-2011