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Education Sector Concept Paper

Latin America and the Caribbean USAID 1990 1992

DevTech prepared a concept paper that critically reviewed the educational climate in six countries in the Latin America/Caribbean region (Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama). The paper’s central thesis was that a crisis existed in the educational systems of the countries of the region that adversely affected the human resource endowment of the societies. This phenomenon, comparable in terms of economic consequences to the destruction of the rain forest, had far-reaching implications for the economic and social development prospects of the region. In its discussion of the educational crisis, the paper addressed financial constraints, the dilemma of quality versus coverage, and dependence on external financial resources. Reform was suggested on the following fronts: priority of educational policy, institutional reform of education ministries, improved teacher salaries, decentralized administrative functions, and increased effectiveness and sustainability of international assistance.