SAO PAULO – Ibero-American countries have improved access to education, but continue to fall short in terms of quality, the senior education expert with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Tuesday.
“Ibero-America made many achievements, especially in terms of access to school by children and teens. The region’s main challenge now is to improve quality and equity in education,” Andreas Schleicher told EFE.
The OECD official, who is in Sao Paulo to discuss the findings of the triennial PISA student assessment with Ibero-American experts and education ministers, highlighted the “positive results” from Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
He also applauded Portugal for “very successful” efforts to improve students’ learning skills over the last 15 years.
A key goal of Tuesday’s meeting is defining the “educational policies to carry out going forward,” said Alejo Ramirez, regional director for the Ibero-American Secretariat.
Despite the “heated debates” surrounding the release of the PISA results, Ramirez said that education ministers were in agreement that “socio-economic inequality determines the quality of education.”
The latest PISA assessments, in 2015, tested more than half a million 15-year-old students from 72 countries in subjects including science, mathematics, financial literacy, problem solving and reading.