LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
For a quality education
Latinamerica Press 4/10/2014
20 percent of female and male adolescents in the region do not receive secondary education.
Temporary absence from school of adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age is a result of early entrance into the labor force in the case of men and take on unpaid housekeeping in the case of women.
“Practically all 11 year olds study in Latin American countries, but by the age of 17 half of them have left the system and just one in every three finishes high school without repeating,” says the document “Adolescents: The Right to Education and Future Well-being” (“Adolescentes. Derecho a la educación y al bienestar futuro”), released on March 31 by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UNICEF regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
School absence and grade repetition occur more often among those with lower incomes, the indigenous population and populations of African descent, and in rural areas, ensures the document. Among the poorest quintile, only one of every five youth completes secondary education while among the quintile with highest incomes, four out of five complete high school.
Additionally, the study indicates that, despite the educational achievements of the region, which have benefitted women more than men, there are “deep historical gender inequalities that do not allow these advances to be translated into equality in labor conditions for women and the full exercise of their rights.”
Likewise, it points out that while in most countries of the region there are currently more adolescent women than men that matriculate and finish high school and register for technical or university studies, once they later join the workforce there still are many disadvantages.
“For example, 67 percent of women are in low productivity jobs, associated with a more precarious situation in terms of social protection and economic compensation,” adds the document. “Despite the fact that they have higher levels of training and education, the unemployment rate among women is another relevant indicator as it is 35 percent higher than the rate for men. The average income for women continues to be lower than the [income] for men, [about] 60 percent to 90 percent, and even the most qualified women receive lower incomes than men with the same level of education.”
ECLAC and UNICEF considers necessary implement gender-equality policies oriented toward the teaching and learning processes of both men and women, the elimination of sexist practices in everyday schooling, which means addressing the curriculum and teacher’s work in the classroom. Also, considers indispensable to have policies that address the main factors of educational postponement, among them poverty, rural life and ethnic origin. Specific policies promoting the inclusion and retention of adolescent mothers are needed, as well as policies for quality high school education that gives real opportunities to students to develop their talent and potential. —Latinamerica Press.
LATIN AMERICA/ THE CARIBBEAN
Secondary gross enrolment ratio (2002-2011)
Source: Human Development Report 2013/UNDP