SECOND MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OEA/Ser.C/VI.5.5
24-25 September, 2001 1st November, 2001
Punta del Este, Uruguay Original: Spanish
Background P. 3
Participants P. 3
Evolution of the Meeting P. 4
Preparatory Session P. 4
Inaugural Session P. 4
First Plenary Session P. 5
Approval of the Agenda P. 5
Analytical Report about the Education Plan of Action of the Santiago Summit: Achievements and Challenges P. 5
Hemispheric Education Panorama within the Framework of the III Summit of the Americas P. 6
Second Plenary Session P. 7
Educational Priorities of the II Summit of the Americas. Mechanisms for Horizontal Cooperation P. 7
Connectivity at the Service of Human Development P. 9
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas P. 10
The Educational Portal of the Americas P. 10
Third Plenary Session P. 11
Financing Mechanisms P. 11
Follow-up Mechanisms P. 12
Participation of Civil Society in Education P. 12
Adoption of Agreements P. 13
Closing Session P. 14
Declarations and Resolutions P. 15
Declaration of the Ministers of Education of the Americas P. 16
Declaration Against Violence P. 18
Follow-up Mechanisms P. 20
Project Proposals on Education P. 22
Appendices: Official Documents
Appendix I: List of Participants P. 24
Appendix II: Draft Agenda, Schedule and Annotated Agenda P. 33
Appendix III: List of Official Documents P. 41
Appendix IV: Report analyzing the Santiago Summit Plan of Action on Education: Achievements and Challenges P. 43
Appendix V: Executive Summary of the Report on Regional Education Indicators (PRIE) P. 47
Appendix VI: Horizontal Cooperation Mechanisms P. 65
Appendix VII: The Educational Portal of the Americas P. 77
Appendix VIII: Opportunity areas for cooperation with International Agencies P. 89
Appendix IX: Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas P. 93
FINAL REPORT OF THE II MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION
The Second Meeting of Ministers of Education within the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) was convened in Punta del Este, Uruguay on the 24th and 25th of September 2001. The Heads of State and Government entrusted the organization of the Ministers of Education meeting to the Organization of American States with the explicit objective to identify and establish appropriate hemispheric mechanisms in order to guarantee the implementation the educative initiatives of the Plan of Action of the II Summit of the Americas and to continue promoting measures in accordance to the identified priorities of the Summit’s of Santiago de Chile and Miami.
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in its thirty-first period of sessions, instructed, through the Resolution AG/ Res.1810 (XXXI-O/01), to convene the II Meeting of Ministers of Education.
In preparation for the Ministerial Meeting, five, sub-regional Meetings of Experts in Education were convened for the regions of Mercosur; the Andean Region; Central America, the Dominican Republic and Panama; North America and the Caribbean countries of Caricom. The purpose of these meetings was to share those “best practices” that the respective countries have identified for confronting the major education challenges, priorities and necessities.
Also, an Inter-Agency Education Meeting was convened in order to share strategies and identify common interests that respond to the previously mentioned priorities of the Quebec Plan of Action.
On the 9th and 10th of August 2001, the Mexican Secretary of Public Education – as cordinator of the Group of 11 – convened the Preparatory Meeting for the II Meeting of Ministers of Education. The expressed purpose of this meeting was to submit a draft agenda for the Meeting.
The LIST of Participants have been published as document CIDI/RME/doc.14/01 Rev 1/01, that appears in this document as Appendix 1.
EVOLUTION OF THE MEETING
In compliance with Article 27 of the by-laws, the Meeting was composed of a Preparatory session, an inaugural session, three plenary sessions and a closing session.
Representatives from the present delegation carried out a preparatory session on the 24th of September, at 9:00 A.M., prior to the formal opening of the II Meeting. The Session was presided over by the host of the event, Dr. Mercader, Minister of Education and Culture of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay.
In the preparatory Session, Dr. Mercader was unanimously elected President of the II Meeting of Ministers of Education of CIDI. Mr. Guillermo Vargas Salazar, Minister of Education of Costa Rica was elected Vice-President.
The Inaugural Session took place on the 24th of September 2001. Dr. Jorge Batlle, President of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay and Dr. Cesar Gaviria, Secretary General of the Organization of American States made the opening remarks. The President of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay gave the opening speech. He emphasized the importance of of continental support for educational priorities, the need to put into effect the goals set in Quebec and create the conditions that will facilitate reaching these goals in every country.
Dr. César Gaviria, Secretary General of the OAS made mention of the education themes of the prior Summits of the Americas and recognized the contribution of the Group of 11 in giving purpose and direction to the meetings. Focusing on efforts that are multilateral in character as well as bilateral initiatives between Member States to solve pressing educational challenges, Dr. Gaviria, emphasized the tremendous challenge posed by globalization and its impact on education systems. He urged that spaces offered by the OAS be used for communication between countries. In this regard he supported the processes of horizontal cooperation and its goal to share successful experiences among countries so as to combat the persisting problems of equity, quality, exclusion and to professionalize education overall. He finished his speech by thanking Dr. Mercader, Minister of Education of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay for his support in carrying out the meeting.
First Plenary Session
Approval of the Agenda
The first plenary session took place on September 24th, 2001. Over the course of the meeting decisions taken during the Preliminary Session were formalized. These decisions are detailed below:
Election of the Governing Body for the Meeting
Dr. Antonio Mercader, Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Uruguay Dr. Mercader was elected President of the II Meeting of Ministers of Education of CIDI. Mr. Guillermo Vargas Salazar, Minister of Education of Costa Rica was elected Vice-President.
Duration of the Meeting
It was decided to close the Second Meeting of Ministers of Education within the context of CIDI upon completion of the Third Plenary Session, anticipated to be on the 25th of September 2001 at 2:00 p.m.
Timetable for the presentation of proposals
September 24, 2001 was agreed upon as the deadline for the presentation of proposals for resolutions.
Participation of Observers and Special Invitees
Analytical Report about the Education Plan of Action of the Santiago: Achievements and Challenges
Sylvia Ortega Salazar, Under-Secretary of Educational Services for the Federal District of Mexico proceeded with the presentation of the Analysis of the Action Plan of the Summit of Santiago: Successes and Challenges. She began her presentation sharing population statistics from the region, placing special emphasis on the aspects of poverty, population dispersion, diversity and illiteracy.
Mexico, as the country coordinating the G-11, called on member countries to continue generating initiatives and education programs that respond to the New Lines of Action of Quebec. She presented a report on the commitments and advances that have been laid out in answer to the lines of action.
The delegate from Mexico then presented the written text of the project of the Resolution on Follow-up Mechanisms; which was discussed in the appropriate section of the agenda.
Ana Evelyn Jacir de Lovo, Minister of Education of El Salvador took the floor to announce the distribution of the document “Summit of the Americas: The Successes and Challenges of Central America” prepared by the Central American Educational and Cultural Coordinating Committee(CECC). This document details the assessment from Santiago to Quebec and expounds uponthe challenges and programs for each country in Central America in regard to the obligations of the Third Summit of the Americas.
Hemispheric Education Panorama within the framework of the Third Summit of the Americas.
Dr. Mariana Aylwin, Minister of Education of Chile presented the Hemispheric Education Panorama within the framework of the Third Summit of the Americas. Her presentation pinpointed records and projections from the Regional Project of Educational Indicators (PRIE), started in August of 2000 and designed as a solution to one of the commitments of the Second Summit of the Americas. The Chilean Ministry of Education, in cooperation with UNESCO/OREALC, coordinates the project which, is financed by a group of international institutions and regional governments.
The Minister set forth the objectives and the components of the PRIE as well as the preliminary information that came from the analysis of the 25 comparable, education indicators. The process of constructing the indicators was carried-out through information that countries provided to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics and other existing initiatives in the region.
The PRIE planned the strengthening of national systems of indicators; supporting countries with technical cooperation; disseminating reports to promote and evaluate the results of the adoption of policies. Dr. Aylwin concluded her presentation noting that it is necessary to give priority to the theme of inequality within the continent so that region can proceed forward together and in the same direction.
Dr. Ana Luisa Machado, Regional Director of Education for UNESCO/OREALC complemented Minister Aylwin’s report saying that it confirmed the importance of paying particular attention to the heterogeneity of the region. She also stressed the importance of coordination between all the various agencies in order to unite efforts and attend to the most urgent needs in the Americas.
After the presentations there was a time for dialogue between the ministers. The Ministers and Heads of Delegation from Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Columbia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Peru and Brazil addressed the group. The Ministers and Heads of Delegation joined together in congratulating Chile for its successful work on the Project of Regional Education Indicators. They recognized the PRIE as a tremendous advancement toward a reliable future continental profile and regional level summary of information about areas requiring the most urgent attention. In turn, they also reflected on the uses, benefits and opportunities that such information affords without de-emphasizing the importance of confronting the remaining challenges.
They emphasized PRIE’s important selection of indicators and the potential contribution this could make to the formulation of public policy. The Ministers and Heads of Delegation sought to incorporate information such as perceptions of the father as head of the family, domestic feedback on the international evaluations and information on the quality of educational output. They agreed that countries should share their experiences and pointed out that the benefits of horizontal cooperation could be served by forming a group of consultants to coordinate the dissemination of information.
Francois Legault, Minister of Education and Youth of Quebec, expressed interest in working with indicators for secondary and higher education. He discussed the experiences his province has had with such indicators and he offered to team up with Chile to assist with the work that country has already began.
The head of Delegation for Brazil spoke of the problems that emerge when comparing information due to methodological and conceptual difference in the collection of information in each country. She suggested the elaboration of a technical report with clarification and comments regarding the methodologies utilized in each country to gather data on population, financial circumstances and other components of the indicators, as that would help improve the reading of the information presented by PRIE. She recommended that over the medium or long term activities of horizontal cooperation be strengthened in order to advance in the comparison of methodologies and to arrive at common conceptualizations.
Second Plenary Session
The Second Plenary Session took place 24th September, 2001
Educational Priorities of the II Summit of the Americas. Mechanisms for horizontal cooperation
Mechanisms of horizontal cooperation. Permanent Portfolio of Consolidated Programs organized by Thematic Areas
Following the mandated of the Summit of the Americas at Quebec, Dr. Sofialeticia Morales Garza, Director of the Unit for Social Development and Education, addressed the importance of supporting specific mechanisms of horizontal cooperation among member countries through the OAS. An alternative that endorses this dynamic between countries is the compilation of national educational programs into a permanent portfolio that could be shared among member states. The report is published as the document CIDI/RME/doc. 6/01 (Anex VI..) The educational priorities contained in the Plan of Action of the Quebec Summit have been organized into five thematic axis: (1) Equity and Quality; (2) Management, Decentralization, Social Participation, and Ongoing Teacher Professional Development; (3) Youth, Secondary Education, and Labor Skills Certification; (4) Higher Education, Science and Technology, Academic Mobility; and (5) New Technologies in Education.
Dr. Morales indicated the need to rely upon a horizontal cooperation mechanism that could support the definition, systematization and transfer of exemplary experiences that respond to the above mentioned priorities among countries and sub-regions. Such a mechanism should address the educational needs of the continents, work towards a more equitable distribution of resources among the sub-regions and optimize the use of the technical, human and financial resources that exist throughout the region. Consequently, the Unit for Social Development and Education, in collaboration with the ministries of the member states, proposed the instrumentation of the horizontal cooperation mechanism based on the Permanent Portfolio of Consolidated Programs. The Portfolio includes educational experiences implemented in the countries that have produced a positive outcome.
With regard to the financing of the project, she indicated that a permanent strategy open to all countries, depending on their needs and interests, would be the use of the Multilateral Special Fund of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (FEMCIDI) account destined to education.
The Canadian delegation reflected on the institutional characteristics of their country. There is no central authority on education issues. In 1997 the Council of Education Ministries was created, granting responsibility for educational affairs to the provincial governments. The president of the council rotates every two years and is one of the current provincial ministers of education. The delegation indicated that it is very important for their country to participate in horizontal cooperation mechanism to achieve educational objectives put forth at the Summit. However, in the case of Canada the decision to join this effort must be made by each of the provinces as well. The delegation showed interest in sharing its country’s experiences of recent years and its most successful practices.
Toward International cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas
Dr. Noel McGinn presented his reflections on cooperation in education in the Americas. He presented a conceptual framework and the historical process of the creation, production and diffusion of knowledge from the 19th century through present day.
He finished his presentation by posing three questions crucial to the understanding of the potential implementation of horizontal cooperation mechanisms:
What are the current obstacles for the promotion of horizontal cooperation?
Which mechanisms for dialogue would be most effective and feasible?
How can the OAS support the efforts towards the implementation of horizontal cooperation mechanisms?
Ministers and Heads of delegations from Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay and Peru took the floor and spoke. Among other issues shared, they indicated the following:
The existence of obstacles that require identifying mechanisms to promote cooperation among countries;
The challenge posed by the integration of knowledge and the creation of teams coordinating policies from the different sectors of society and between countries to be able to compare models of knowledge production;
The need to identify innovations that already exist in the field of education, so that they may be shared and used to avoid new creation process to fight similar problems in different countries or regions. They agreed that the Permanent Portfolio of Consolidated Programs in an excellent example of knowledge production and sharing;
The need to find paths for cooperation in order to enrich, through joint efforts, the production, transmission and adaptation of knowledge and of and education model and the improvement of communication to provide a channel for the transfer of knowledge.
The Ministers and Heads of Delegation reflected on the best ways to rationalize time and find the most efficient dynamics for political meetings on education and identify techniques that may help to confront these challenges. Suggestions were made on the need for networks of educators and students and the use of technology to establish a permanent contact between these two groups, the technical staff and the political sphere.
Connectivity at the service of human development
Dr. John Daniel, Director General of Education for UNESCO, introduced the theme. He indicated that the intelligent use of technology is a challenge, since Dakar proposes that ministers of education should offer high quality, equitable and low cost education to all. Consequently, incorporating information technology into education spawns the concern to reduce costs, increase access, and deliver quality education. Dr. Daniel affirmed that technology can provide inclusion with quality. There are several successful examples that support this statement. For example, the Open Universities of the United Kingdom, India, Thailand and Alberta have, upon incorporating distance learning technology, increased coverage, reduced costs, enhanced interactive dynamics and teleconferences, and improved access to documents and museums. He pointed out that the determining factor for success in these endeavors is political support.
Concern was raised on how to deal with the inclusion and the best use of new technologies for primary education. At that education level, socialization is vital and it is therefore unrealistic to sit them in front of their computers while promoting independent and interactive activities. Television and radio educational programs can help. However, technology is a tool and not an end of itself; technology cannot be isolated from the rest of the curriculum. Finally, new technologies cannot replace human beings.
Dr. Francisco Piñón, Secretary General of the Ibero-American States Organization for Education, Science and Culture, added that the speeches delivered by the Secretary General of the OAS and the President of Uruguay informed attendees of the challenges that are present in the field of education. He said that cooperation has advanced, that meetings of ministers in the various forums are not the same and that each one of these are important in their own way. He emphasized the areas of opportunity that are opening up to all agencies, where there exist common agendas and the wish to combine efforts, such as those seen in the document presented at the meeting that lists the objectives of each of the international organization present at the meeting.
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas
Dr. Federico S. Barone, Director of the International Development Research Center (IDRC), noted that the Plan of Action 2001-2003 of the organization he represents incorporates the use of information and communication technology to develop networks, promote exchanges and bring governments and civil society’s efforts together. The Institute for Connectivity was created by Canada en April, 2001, responding to the Summit mandate to strengthen democracy, generate prosperity and promote the full development of human potential through the use of information and communication technologies. The Institute foresees its association with other institutions.
Dr. Barone reported that they are currently building associations through the search for partners who are developing specific connectivity strategies in the areas of education, health and environmental education. A regional network will be organized responding to local demands and with the presence of a sponsoring institution in each region (Canada and the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Andean Region, Brazil and Mercosur). They will enforce transparency and anticipate that this project will evolve into a hemispheric institution within the next three years, counting among its ranks a Board of Directors to offer support for the next Summit of the Americas, to be held in 2004. The Program will consider three areas of work: Innovation and Demonstration, Connectivity and Learning and Research.
The Educational Portal of the Americas
Secretary General, César Gaviria, presented the Educational Portal of the Americas. This initiative of the Inter-American Agency for the Cooperation and Development (IACD) is being developed with the United States Fund for Cooperation, in order to respond to the connectivity mandate of the III Summit of the Americas.
Dr Carlos Paldao, Director of the Department of Information Technology for Human Development of the IADC, explained the possibilities and uses of the Portal. Dr Paldao described the Portal as an instrument that serves the democratization of information, with the goal of informing users about the different education opportunities being offered through distance learning methodologies. This instrument is a tool that seeks to expand the access to global knowledge, undertaking an active participation in the technological revolution. The Portal will also inform on the different programs and scholarships offered by the OAS, as well as provide information on the availability of other services, stimulus and strengthening programs prepared especially to address the demands and needs of the region.
At the end of the presentation, the Uruguayan Minister of Education, Dr Mercader, in his role as president of the Meeting, inaugurated the Portal.
Third Plenary Session
The Second Plenary Session took place 25th September, 2001 following the themes on the Agenda
Representatives from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development exposed their views on the matter.
(a) World Bank
Mr. Antonio Gomes Pereira, consultant for the World Bank, started his presentation by enumerating the Bank’s priorities on the issues of quality, sustainable social investment and the Banks’ re-orientation of funds towards preventive strategies, increasing investment in early childhood education and kindergarten. He mentioned a number of projects undertaken by the organization in each of the five thematic themes that organize the Summit’s priorities on education. He finally ratified the matrix presented at the meeting that enumerates the international agencies’ priorities as a starting point to reflect on potential collaborative work.
(b) Inter-American Development Bank
Mr. Ernesto Martínez, representative for the IDB in Uruguay, highlighted the renewed interest of this organization on education issues. Providing an overview of the status of education in the region, he mentioned the increase in basic and secondary education coverage and the reduction of iliteracy. He pointed out the need to respond to other challenges, such as quality in education, the increase of the average years of attendance, the inequality of educational opportunities, the expansion of secondary education and life long learning. He added to these the need to improve teacher training, include ICT’s in the education system and increase civil society participation. The latter opens the discussion on the redefinition of the roles of international agencies and the state on the supply, provision and financing of educational services across the region.
The Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development
Mr. Alfonso Quiñones, Director of Politics for Cooperation at the Agency, shared with the audience the different mechanism being offered by the Agency to respond to the III Summit’s mandates. He mentioned the new Strategic Plan for Cooperation that will start running during the year 2002, and which incorporates the Summit mandates. The new plan will: (i) promote a stronger cooperation among the member states and with other agencies, (ii) include interaction with the private sector, (iii) support innovations across the region, (iv) create new and more attractive opportunities to maximize available resources, (v) reduce costs by sharing successful experiences through cooperation mechanisms, (vi) identify experts throughout the region, and (vii) support inter-agency cooperation efforts.
CIDI`s Multilateral Special Fund, FEMCIDI, could be used to co-finance cooperation activities and joint efforts with other agencies. The projects presented by the countries requesting for FEMCIDI funds will have to respond to the priorities enumerated at the Summit. The fund will also be aligned with the thematic areas and the Permanent Portfolio of Exemplary Programs previously presented.
Mrs. Sylvia Ortega Salazar, under-secretary for Mexico City’s Education Department, updated the audience on the activities of the Second Summit’s Follow-up Group. As the coordinating country of the Group, Mexico proposed a resolution on the follow-up mechanisms, (documento CIDI/RES 7).
Ministers and heads of delegations from all the countries represented at the meeting discussed the matter. They stated that the Summit’s follow-up requires dynamic mechanisms, led by a dynamic and sustainable entity with democratic procedures opened to the 34 member states. They agreed on giving Mexico de responsibility of preparing a project proposal for the creation of an Inter-American Education Commission that will support and strengthen the activities developed by the Group of the Eleven and will include the other member states.
Participation of Civil Society on Education
Participation of citizenry: 20 experiences
Rosa María Torres, international consultant on education, presented her perspectives on civil society participation. The inclusion of different groups from society into the discussion and actions is every day more important and pertinent. However, she highlighted the need to redefine the role of civil society and the sectors it represents, as well as its relation with the State.
Supporting civil society organizations is crucial for the strengthening of democracy, modernization and governability. It is also important for a more efficient and sustainable implementation of development policies and programs. In terms of the definition of civil society she mentioned that:
Civil society is an heterogeneous and complex composition, formed by multiple organizations: parents, academic community, different associations, NGO’s, etc.
Participation of civil society should be authentic, meaningful and all-inclusive to be considered as a tool for development, empowerment and social equity. It should include all voices, individuals or groups. Past experiences show that there are different dimensions, spheres, out-reach, levels and actors for citizens’ participation in education.
Rosa María Torres ended her presentation by introducing to the audience twenty experiences in Latin America where different civil society groups took the initiative on education.
The Continental Education Secretary of the Second Summit of the People of the Americas
The Continental Education Secretary of the Second Summit of the People of the Americas was invited as one group representing civil society. Its Secretary General, Mr. Jocelyn Berthelot presented the organization and its mission to the audience. He also delineated the conclusions reached at the Hemispheric Forum on Education that took place the same days of the III Summit of the Americas.
Ministers and Heads of Delegations from Canada, El Salvador, Venezuela and Dominican republic expressed their views on civil society participation in education and their experiences when incorporating different groups into policy planning and implementation. They highlighted that there are different and complementary levels to the meaning of civil society and its participation. One of them is based in the definition of participation as a tool for relevance and efficiency. Another level is related to its relationship with the State and other agencies. The role of non-governmental organization was questioned by some sectors of the audience, specially when they sometimes complicate the direct relationship between every citizen and governmental offices.
Adoption of Agreements
The Ministers and Heads of Delegations considered and approved the resolutions and declarations proposed:
Declaration of the Ministers of Education of the Americas, CIDI/RME/doc.11/01 Rev.3
Declaration Against Violence, CIDI/RME/doc.16/01 rev.1
Project Proposals on Education, OEA/Ser.K/V.5.1 CIDI/RES 6
Follow-up Mechanisms, OEA/Ser.K/V.5.1 CIDI/RES 7
The Closing Session took place the 26th September, at 3:15 pm. The president of the II Meeting of Ministers of Education, Dr. Mercader, closed the event by thanking the participation of the Delegations and the efforts to achieve the goals set.
IV. DECLARATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS
SECOND MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION
24 - 25 September 2001
Punta del Este, Uruguay
SECOND MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OEA/Ser.K/V.5.1
24-25 September 2001 CIDI/RME/doc.11/01 rev.3
Punta del Este, Uruguay 25 September 2001
DECLARATION BY THE
EDUCATION MINISTERS OF THE AMERICAS
DECLARATION BY THE
EDUCATION MINISTERS OF THE AMERICAS
We, the Ministers of Education of the member countries of the Organization of American States, on the occasion of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Education under the aegis of CIDI-OAS, held at Punta del Este, Republic of Uruguay, as regards all matters relating to the education of our peoples, embrace the Declaration of Québec signed by the Heads of State and Government in April 2001 and the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas:
We recognize the progress that has been made in pursuit of the education commitments entered into at the Second Summit of the Americas, most particularly: education in values and attention for vulnerable groups; special education; bi-lingual and intercultural education; programs to raise the professional profile of teachers and education administrators; strengthening education management; and using information and communications technologies in education. We also reaffirm the need to continue with the regional indicator and educational assessment projects as focal points with which to fully analyze the situation of education in the continent and to guide education policy decision-making.
We pledge to develop and implement projects that will emphasize quality and equality in education in order to overcome failure at school in the different forms it adopts; to improve school management and teacher training, and the involvement of families and other social agents; to offer proper secondary education and training services to young people, and the certification of job skills, so as to improve their incorporation into society and the productive apparatus; to strengthen higher education, science and technology, and academic mobility; and to promote new technologies at the service of education.
We resolve to strengthen the follow-up mechanism referred to in one of the resolutions of this Second Meeting of Ministers of Education, and to foster horizontal cooperation mechanisms, chiefly through exchanges of innovative education programs that have been consolidated in the region’s countries. In addition, we propose the development of a group of experts in innovation that would allow the sharing of resources throughout the region.
We state our interest in further pursuing the incorporation of new technologies into education, in order to improve learning and as an instrument at the service of teaching processes within schools. We have established the Educational Portal of the Americas, an on-line instrument at the service of the democratization of education, the essential mandate of which is to disseminate the opportunities of high academic quality offered by the distance learning approach as a first response to the connectivity agenda of the Québec Summit.
We have received the report of the consultation process with civil society which began in the Summit and were informed about the recent creation of the Continental Secretariat for Education.
We call upon the international technical assistance and financing agencies, and the OAS Technical Secretariat, to strengthen and increase the dynamism of the inter-agency cooperation mechanism, so it can articulate the efforts of those agencies and with the education ministries in a convergent agenda that is connected to national and subregional education policies.
SECOND MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OEA/Ser.K/V.5.1
As we stand before the threats of irrational violence, war and terrorism that have been imposed upon the future of humanity; we, the Ministers of Education of the Americas, hereby proclaim our decision to deepen and expand the bounds of educational processes. For by so doing, we shall strengthen the knowledge, values and attitudes that recognize and champion diversity, tolerance, mutual respect, non-violence, social justice and equality, as well as cooperation and solidarity among all peoples.
To work for peace is to strengthen school systems so that children and youth can feel nurtured and protected, so that as they learn they can better understand the society to which they belong and the world around them. This implies developing the capacity to think, to exchange ideas, to comprehend, and to transform themselves and their environs through reasonable and active dialogue. It also implies reinforcing the study of history, the great knowledge of societies and their cultures, and understanding the dynamic forces of change that humanity has experienced through rooting individual identity in diversity.
To work for peace is to work for human development and social progress. It is to contribute so that children, youth and adults alike can find deeper meaning in their lives, renew the hope for a better future and build the confidence required to make that vision a reality. It also means contributing to the formation of a responsible public opinion that is capable of expressing itself in ways more mature and profound than mere mass media.
In response to this, as the Ministers of Education of the Americas, we commit ourselves to emphasize nonviolence and a culture of peace within the educational initiatives that form and reinforce our national and sub-regional values, and also promoting the construction of a Continental Program for Values in Education for 2003.
Finally, we declare our emphatic repudiation of the attacks on the United States of America and express our solidarity with this country as well as its condemnation of all acts of violence that affect peaceful coexistence.
SECOND MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OEA/Ser.K/V.5.1