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Human Capital

Medir el aprendizaje para no estar volando a ciegas

Jaime Saavedra's picture
Also available in: English
Foto: Sarah Farhat/ World Bank

Tan solo tres semanas después de que me nombraran ministro de Educación de Perú, mi equipo y yo recibimos los resultados de la ronda de 2012 del Programa Para la Evaluación Internacional de Alumnos (PISA). Perú ocupaba el último lugar. No era el anteúltimo, no estaba en el 10 % más bajo. Era el último.

La educación, que nunca aparecía en los titulares de los diarios del país, figuraba ahora en la primera plana. Para algunos medios, el hecho de sólo países ricos y algunos países de ingresos medios participaban en las pruebas PISA no era importante; eso era solo una nota al pie. En los periódicos, los alumnos peruanos tenían los peores niveles de aprendizaje del mundo.

Measuring learning to avoid “flying blind”

Jaime Saavedra's picture
Also available in: Español
Measuring learning outcomes allows countries to plan better, as it shows the magnitude and characteristics of their learning challenges. Photo: Sarah Farhat/ World Bank

Just three weeks after becoming Minister of Education in Peru, my team and I received the results from the 2012 round of PISA. Peru was ranked last. Not next to last, not bottom 10%.  It was last.

Education, which never made headlines in the country, was on the front pages. For some people in the media, the fact that PISA was only administered to a subset of rich and middle-income countries around the world was not important, that was just a footnote. For them, Peruvian students were the worst in the world.

Stepping It Up For Vocational Education

Nicole Goldstein's picture

Students themselves stepping it up. Last weekend, I was fortunate to be at the same dinner party as Jeff Puryear, co-director of PREAL and a luminary in the education field. We got talking about his PhD thesis from 1977, which I later found out, was perhaps the first serious study of the impact of job training in Colombia's SENA industrial training programs in Bogotá.

His study had three goals:

First, to analyze the socioeconomic characteristics of people who enrolled with SENA relative to those who did not, with a view to identifying the kind of candidates that the programs attracted; second, to estimate the impact of SENA training on the wages of a randomly-chosen individual who had undergone no training before taking part in a SENA program; and third, to calculate the private and social benefits of the SENA program. 

The Cross-Over Effect: Education Can Be a Fault Line or the Bedrock for Development

Christine Horansky's picture

Haiti's Ministry of Education is leveled by the Jan 2010 earthquakeWhat is the relationship between education and geological processes? At first glance, some might think: Not much. One concerns the opening and enlightenment of the mind; the other is as old, rock-solid and unpredictable as the Earth itself.

But the collapse of so many buildings and homes that killed more than 200,000 people in the Haiti earthquake was in large part due to an utter "lack of qualified architects, urban planners, builders and zoning experts," points out a recent article in the New York Times.

In the tragedy of these moments it becomes painfully clear what a lack of adequate education and training has meant. Even worse, such revelation shines a light on very hard questions for posterity. What will the future of a country look like that has lost so many of its doctors, teachers and future leaders?