UNICEF and OEI join forces to strengthen education systems in Latin America and the Caribbean

19 March 2019

MADRID/PANAMA CITY, 18 March 2019 - UNICEF and the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) signed an Memorandum of Understanding today to strengthen education in Latin America and the Caribbean, where 14 million children and teenagers aged between 7 and 18 are out of school. the education systems.

This collaboration agreement will prioritize interventions in favor of early childhood and adolescence in contexts of greater vulnerability, said both organizations in a public statement distributed in Panama.

The agreement has been signed in a Latin American and Caribbean context in which 14 million children and adolescents between 7 and 18 are outside the education system, said both international organizations.

"The percentage of children and adolescents who do not attend school in the first years of secondary education in Latin America and the Caribbean is 7.7%, almost 4 times more than in developed countries (2.1%)," added UNICEF and the OEI.

Both organizations said Monday that they will focus their joint actions on strengthening the political and technical capacities of government agencies and civil society; and in the training of teachers and other agents dedicated to the care, education and protection of children and adolescents.

Also, in the design and implementation of policies and interventions of alternative and flexible education models that contribute to reducing early school drop-out and drop-out at all educational levels.

The data cited in the official communiqué indicate that 1.6 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean are excluded from pre-primary education and some 3.6 million are out of primary school, while 2.8 million drop out of primary school. lower secondary school and 7.6 million do so in upper secondary school.

The Secretary General of the OEI, Mariano Jabonero, stressed that improving the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean is a "key issue", and that with the joint agreement with UNICEF the long-term experience of both organizations is combined to advance "in line with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 ".

"The mandate of organizations like OEI and UNICEF requires us to contribute with governments and societies to strengthen educational systems and that the right to education of children and adolescents is a reality so that none of them is left behind," added the Regional Director of UNICEF ​​for Latin America and the Caribbean, María Cristina Perceval.

Media Contacts

Marisol Quintero

Regional Communication Specialist

UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean

Tel: +507 3017484

Eva Mateo Asolas

Head of Communication


Tel: +34 91 594 43 82 21

Tel: Cel: +34 696 40 18


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