The right to quality intercultural education
Equity and inclusion for all indigenous and Afro-descendant children
In Latin America, the educational situation of children and adolescents of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples continues to be marked by serious challenges in terms of access, adaptations in the teaching-learning process, and the quality and relevance of educational content and materials.
Intercultural education aims to go beyond passive coexistence. It seeks for multicultural societies to achieve an evolutionary and sustainable coexistence, fostering mutual knowledge, respect and dialogue between different cultural groups.
Children and adolescents of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples have historically been the students with the most difficulties in accessing an education in accordance with their culture and in their mother tongue, even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Relevance and quality
Despite the efforts made by the countries, the situation of the majority of students of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants is doubly critical, since in addition to requiring access, education must be a relevant and quality service.
What are we doing?
To respond to the critical educational situation in the territories where indigenous and Afro-descendant communities live, UNICEF promotes dialogue and collaborative work between governments and organizations of these peoples.
We strive to ensure that the voices of traditional authorities are heard and taken into account in order to guarantee that no student is left without education.
At UNICEF, we have set out to:
- Gather the demands and proposals of communities and organizations representing indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples at the subnational, national and regional levels.
- Analyze, together with our regional partner FILAC, the responses that governments and civil society entities have given to indigenous and Afro-descendant students.
- Systematize good practices and stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experiences so that Intercultural Bilingual Education is an adequate model to provide access and attend with relevance and quality to indigenous and Afro-descendant students.
- Facilitate the consultation of materials/resources, promoting their progressive use in each country by teachers, students, leaders, among others; and in cross-border languages.
- In these videos you can learn more about our work with FILAC.
1 United Nations Children Fund, Documento de política SNU COVID-19, May 2019.
2 Dirección General de Estadísticas Encuestas y Censos, Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Encuesta Permanente de Hogares. Población Indígena (2016-2017), DGEEC y INE, Asunción, 2018.
3 Prepared by UNICEF based on Ministry of Education survey in 1,141 parishes, April 2020.
4 Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación and United Nations Children Fund, Panorama educativo de la población indígena y afrodescendiente, INEE and UNICEF, Mexico City, 2018.