Continuing education trends… an evolving challenge

Today, the labor market is characterized by a strong demand for specific skills and competencies, rather than simply having an academic degree. In addition, the rapid pace of change in technology and the economy makes it necessary for workers to constantly update their skills and competencies in order to stay current.

As skills gaps become more evident, continuing education has become an increasingly urgent need. Workers need to acquire new skills and competencies in order to adapt to the changing needs of the labor market.

According to a 2019 World Bank report, it is expected that by 2030, approximately 85% of jobs will require digital skills and competencies. This means that continuing education will be essential for workers to remain competitive in the labor market.

In addition, a study by consulting firm McKinsey found that 87% of workers worldwide will need to develop new skills in the near future due to automation and artificial intelligence.

As the demand for continuing education increases, many educational institutions are struggling to adapt. Most higher education institutions are still focused on offering traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, rather than focusing on continuing education and professional training.

This has led to declining enrollment in higher education institutions in some countries. In the United States, for example, enrollment in undergraduate programs has declined by 8% since its peak in 2010. At the same time, enrollment in continuing education programs has increased by 23% since 2010.

Educational institutions that are not keeping up with the demands of the labor market may be losing students seeking more flexible and customized continuing education options.

In response to these trends, many educational institutions are beginning to offer continuing education programs that are more focused on specific skills and professional development. Some of these institutions are using online learning and micro-credentialing technologies to make continuing education more accessible and affordable.

A Harvard University study found that continuing education programs using online learning technologies have higher completion rates than face-to-face programs. In addition, the majority of students in online continuing education programs said the programs helped them develop skills that were relevant to their current job.

Another approach being taken by educational institutions is partnerships and alliances with companies and organizations to develop continuing education programs focused on specific skills and competencies that are relevant to the job market. These partnerships and alliances can help educational institutions identify the skills and competencies most in demand in the marketplace and design continuing education programs that meet those needs.

One example of a successful partnership between a company and an educational institution is the collaboration between Google and the University of London to offer a Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics. The program is designed to teach data science skills that are in high demand in the job market, and has been very popular with students and employers.

In general, educational institutions that are responding effectively to skills gaps in the labor market are seeing an increase in demand for continuing education programs. In the United States, for example, continuing education is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5% through 2025, compared to a rate of 1.5% for higher education overall.

However, there are still challenges for educational institutions to offer continuing education programs that are effective and relevant to the labor market. One of the biggest barriers is lack of funding. Many workers cannot afford to pay for continuing education programs, and companies may also be reluctant to invest in training for their employees.

In addition, it can be difficult for educational institutions to keep up with rapid changes in the labor market and emerging technologies. Institutions that are successful in continuing education tend to be those that have the ability to adapt quickly to changes in the labor market and in student needs.

In conclusion, the demand for specific skills and competencies in the labor market is driving the need for continuing education. Educational institutions that are not keeping up with the demands of the labor market are losing students who are seeking more flexible and customized continuing education options.

To address the skills gaps in the labor market, educational institutions must adopt a more focused approach to specific skills and competencies and vocational training. Partnerships and alliances with companies and organizations can be an effective way to develop continuing education programs that meet market needs.

Although there are challenges to address, continuing education remains an essential way for workers to keep up with the changing demands of the labor market.

Continuing education can also help close the earnings gap between workers with different levels of education. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with a college degree earn an average of $1,248 per week, while workers without a degree earn an average of $746 per week. However, workers who participate in continuing education programs have the opportunity to improve their skills and competencies, which can lead to increased earnings and greater job mobility.

Ultimately, continuing education is an important tool for addressing skills gaps in the labor market and improving workers’ employability. Educational institutions that are willing to adapt quickly to the needs of the labor market and offer effective and relevant continuing education programs will be successful in the future.

Young people being used computer, Education and technology concept.school education knowledge college university concept

Higher Education in an Automated World: The Importance of Adapting to Changes in the Labor Market

In an increasingly automated world, higher education plays a critical role in preparing students to meet the challenges of the labor market. Automation and artificial intelligence are transforming the world of work and, therefore, the skills needed to succeed in the labor market are changing. It is important that higher education adapts to these changes to prepare students for the future.

Automation is eliminating jobs that were once performed by humans, but it is also creating new opportunities in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. Therefore, higher education must prepare students to work in these emerging fields and teach them the skills needed to adapt to changes in the labor market.

One of the most important skills students must develop is the ability to continuously learn and adapt. In an increasingly automated world, technical skills quickly become obsolete. Therefore, it is important that students develop autonomous learning skills and become accustomed to continually updating themselves.

In addition, higher education must emphasize the importance of soft skills such as communication, teamwork and critical thinking. These skills are difficult to automate and are highly valued by employers. Higher education should teach students how to apply these skills in a work environment.

Another important skill for students to develop is the ability to work with technology. Automation and artificial intelligence are becoming more common in the workplace, so it is essential that students learn how to work with these technologies to be competitive in the job market.

Higher education must foster entrepreneurship and innovation. With automation and artificial intelligence, traditional jobs are disappearing, but this is also creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators. Higher education must teach students how to create and develop their own ideas and how to use technology to bring them to fruition.

It is worth mentioning that higher education has a crucial role to play in preparing students for an increasingly automated world. It is important that higher education adapts to these changes to teach students the skills necessary to succeed in the job market. Students must learn technical skills, soft skills, independent learning skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation skills to be competitive in the job market.

At HPI International we have been working with tools to automate the admissions process to obtain key information, the objective of the tools we provide is to differentiate ourselves from other higher education organizations, to have an added value, to achieve goals of conversion rates in new students.

Psychiatry - Psychiatrist with unrecognizable patient, talking, taking notes

Predictive psychology: What is this new concept for higher education institutions?

We could define predictive psychology as a new branch of psychology that focuses on the use of data and statistical techniques to predict future results, which manages to combine psychometric processes with new artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to obtain reliable projections about skills, potential and future performance of a person in various areas of his or her life.

According to expert Isaías Sharon, PhD in education and new technologies and CEO of HPI International, this concept is related to “the ability to predict the behavior, skills and potential that a person has for their learning and development goals”. In the context of higher education, it refers to the application of these techniques to predict student academic performance, student retention and student completion.

Predictive psychology in higher education can be used by educational institutions to identify students who may be struggling academically or to identify students who are at a higher risk of dropping out. Through the collection and analysis of data from different sources, such as students’ previous grades, their demographic profiles, and their interactions with the educational environment, predictive models can be developed to help institutions make informed decisions about how to support their students.

In addition, predictive psychology can also be used by students themselves to assess their own academic performance and to identify areas in which they need to improve. By analyzing their academic history and study patterns, students can use predictive results to identify areas where they need to spend more time and effort.

Overall, predictive psychology in higher education can be a valuable tool for improving the quality of education and helping students achieve their academic goals. By using statistical techniques and data analysis to predict students’ academic performance and retention, educational institutions and students themselves can make informed decisions and tailor their study approaches to improve outcomes.


Barriers to entry into higher education and what to do about them.

Higher education is one of the most important tools for success in life, providing students with specialized knowledge and practical skills that can help them advance in their careers. Although this has been changing over the past two decades, studies continue to show the strong impact that formal studies have on the economic income and social mobility of individuals and their families.
However, there are numerous barriers that hinder access to higher education for many students. In this article, I would like to examine with you just a few of the most common barriers to student admission to higher education and discuss ways in which they can be overcome.

The high cost of higher education
One of the most common barriers is the cost of higher education. Many students simply cannot afford to pay college tuition, fees, and other associated expenses. Often, these costs are particularly high at private universities and graduate programs.
One possible solution to this problem is the offer of scholarships and student loans that can help students pay for their educational expenses. In addition, some universities offer financial assistance programs for low-income students, as well as some countries significantly subsidize the costs of these studies.
The financial issue is a relevant factor for students and their families, and represents an unresolved problem at a global level, since the need to improve educational levels requires investments that cannot be sustainably financed by the States, thus requiring direct or private contributions to pursue these careers.

Gaps in academic preparation
Another common barrier is the lack of academic preparation. Many high school students do not receive the education necessary to be prepared for higher education. Often, they lack basic skills in math, reading and writing that are necessary to succeed in college, leading to low achievement and high dropout rates.
Colleges can help overcome this barrier through college readiness programs, such as summer courses or tutoring programs and placement systems, as well as new systems that allow for proper measurement of the skills gaps and learning strategies that new students bring.
For this year 2023, many universities have reported that they are reinforcing their actions, both evaluation and leveling of new students, since the generations that are entering come with important learning gaps that were left as a result of the years of pandemic that we have gone through, so it is expected that these gaps can be overcome in the coming months, so as not to delay the learning cycles of new students.

Lack of access to information
Many people will say that this is not possible in the age of the internet, however, although there is an excess of information available, there is little ability to search, sort and understand it. Thus, lack of access to information is also a major barrier for students wishing to enter higher education.
Many low-income and rural students do not have access to the necessary information about admission requirements, scholarships and financial aid programs, missing out on opportunities they could have taken that would have contributed to their future development.
In this regard, universities can overcome this barrier by posting clear and accessible information on their websites and conducting informational presentations in schools and communities. In addition, new technological tools for orientation and community outreach can be incorporated to help better reach those young people who may be thinking of continuing on to higher education.

Lack of diversity
Lack of diversity in universities can also act as a barrier to student admission to higher education. Although we hear more and more about diversity and integration policies, the truth is that student populations tend to be quite homogeneous, so much so that we can identify cultural, economic and social factors very easily depending on the type of institution we are talking about.
Many times, students from minority groups feel isolated and excluded in university environments that do not reflect their cultural and ethnic diversity, either because they are not adequately integrated, or because they are not adequately known in order to recognize their particularities and thus enrich the student community.
Universities can address this problem by adopting policies and practices that promote diversity on campus, such as hiring ethnically and culturally diverse faculty and offering support programs for students from minority groups, correct socio-cultural and economic characterization, as well as creating more spaces for networking and interaction. (I suggest you learn about Meetify to promote these encounters).
In summary, the admission of students to higher education is restricted by various barriers, such as cost, lack of academic preparation, lack of access to information and lack of diversity.
However, solutions exist to overcome these barriers, including offering scholarships and student loans, college readiness programs, publishing clear and accessible information, and adopting policies and practices that encourage diversity, among others.
By addressing these barriers, we can ensure that more students have access to higher education and the opportunities it offers, advancing their knowledge, developing new skills and opening up opportunities for social, occupational and economic mobility for them and their future generations, in addition to the important area of comprehensive knowledge development and human evolution.


The importance of digital infrastructure in the improvement of higher education

Education is a key aspect of a country’s economic and social development. Higher education is even more important as it trains future leaders and professionals who will play a vital role in the progress of society.

Digital technology has revolutionized the way we live, work and interact with each other, and has also had a significant impact on education. Digital infrastructure is an essential aspect of higher education in the era in which we live and can improve the quality of learning, accessibility and efficiency.

Digital infrastructure includes information and communications technology, computer networks and software infrastructure. These technologies can be used to create an online learning environment, which allows students to access learning resources and materials anytime, anywhere. The digital infrastructure also enables real-time interaction between students and teachers, which means that students can ask questions and receive immediate feedback.

Personalization of learning is another important aspect of the digital infrastructure. Students can access online learning resources and materials that are tailored to their individual needs, which means they can learn at their own pace and according to their interests. Personalization of learning can also improve students’ motivation and performance, as they are more engaged in their learning when they are offered material that is relevant and engaging to them.

Digital infrastructure is also driving collaboration and teamwork among students. Online platforms and mobile apps allow students to work together on projects and collaborate in real time, enabling them to learn in a more effective and enriching way. Collaboration can also enhance socialization and relationship building among students, which is important for their personal and professional development.

This area, sometimes overlooked by institutions, can improve efficiency in higher education. Therefore, it should cease to be seen as an antagonistic factor to what is known, such as the traditional classroom, the physical infrastructure and the conventional act of teaching, which will continue to exist. However, they must be enhanced by the new digital infrastructure that not only serves teaching and learning, but also student attraction, retention and success.

I have personally seen this firsthand at universities that I have helped to leverage their technology infrastructure, incorporating artificial intelligence and predictive psychology, from HPI. And there is a huge gap that needs to be addressed, not only to incorporate more and better technological processes, but essentially to transform the culture that leaders have within educational institutions.

We need new mentalities that can drive change, innovation and the transformation that is so necessary in the education sector at all levels. This change will not come from outside, neither governments nor ministries will be the ones to come down from Olympus with magic solutions and new paradigms. It is those of us in the education system, teachers, researchers, managers and students, who must change the way we do things.

Not only do we need more and better technological infrastructure, we also need a new mental software to make the required change and build the education that will accompany us in an effective and relevant way during the following decades. Will you join us in this change?

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STEM gap: a challenge for companies and universities

It is no news to anyone to say that professionals in science, technology and mathematics are increasingly in demand in the world of work, given that nowadays all companies have had to join the digital transformation and become, many of them, technology companies. However, this will not happen if companies and universities continue to act separately to reduce the gap of professionals in STEM areas.
The gap of STEM professionals is not only the fact that there is a lack of more and better specialists in these areas to meet the requirements of the labor market and the economic development of countries, but also that the gap between men and women persists, which is another of the objectives that we are seeking to reduce.
In order for this situation to be overcome, it is not enough to speak of intentions, but rather a joint effort between companies and universities is required to turn it into a reality.
Only 28% of STEM professionals are women, and less than 17% of the workforce in engineering and architecture.
Now, in order to solve this situation we must start from school education, since according to UNICEF figures, we can find realities such as:

  1. 70% of people associate science with men.
  2. In India, more than half of the science contents show boys, versus only 6% in which girls appear.
  3. In the UK, more than 25% of girls report that they were prevented from working in STEM areas because they were male-dominated.

Thus, both in higher education and in the business world it is possible to start making a difference, which will be more noticeable if it is done in a coordinated way by both worlds: those who train professionals and those who hire them.
It is necessary for both training and work to be more flexible, facilitating the incorporation of women, who, in many cases
In many cases, women must fulfill other family care functions, making their training and/or work process more difficult.
Create joint mentoring programs that encourage and promote new opportunities for the increase of STEM professionals and greater equity in the number of men and women who contribute their talent in these disciplines.
Establish truly unbiased evaluation criteria, such as standardized tests that evaluate skills and competencies, leaving out cultural issues that often end up segregating talented people, both in university admission and in job hiring.
We are in a time when STEM disciplines are fundamental for the growth of society, the development of innovation and the construction of greater well-being, so we need more, better and more diverse people to be able to contribute so that the gap decreases and opportunities can occur in a fairer way for all people.

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Why it’s good to set goals for a new year (and some keys to achieve them)

Surely last year you made a wish list for 2022; probably little to nothing came to fruition. Nothing happens just by writing it down, but the good news is that there are some tips for making those goals do happen.

“Will the New Year be the best time to start your new ideas?” asked entertainer Ellen DeGeneres. “I mean, you wake up at noon, you’re hungover, you don’t quite know where you are. It’s not the right instant to start a new diet-sometimes there are more pressing priorities like knowing where my pants are.”

If youth hasn’t left you yet, maybe you’re planning to party on the 31st. It’s likely, then, that on January 1st you’ll be a footy scourge. On the other hand, it’s also possible that you’re coming to the end of the year almost at a crawl and your resolution or desire is simply for life to give you a break.

But there, in between, is a large group of enthusiasts who fill their hearts with hope and wishes that next year will be better and a series of decrees will be fulfilled for them. Where does that come from? Let’s go with a very brief history lesson.

January, month of the new
As reported by Isaiah Sharon, psychologist, creator of the Integrative Coaching Model and podcaster, in ancient times the beginning of the year was celebrated on March 1. But Julius Caesar, in 47 BC, created the Julian calendar, where the season begins in January, a month consecrated to Janus, god of the new and beginnings, and not in March -for Mars, god of war-, as it was classically done.

“Then, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII created the Gregorian calendar and established January 1 as the starting date of each year,” he explains. “It was in this way that on the eve of January 1, to celebrate new beginnings, people would say prayers and raise their wishes for the times to come. Since then, we have the cultural ritual of thinking about new goals and decrees for the year that is about to begin,” he concludes.

Perfect. Now that we know where she’s coming from, we can move on to the important part: how do I make my New Year’s decrees come true?

The power of the decree
“Making plans or decrees for the new year is an interesting way to visualize what we want our future to look like,” says Carla Garcia, psychologist, mindfulness instructor and co-founder of BrotaConsult.

She suggests that this idealization be done from a “conscious and non-reactive” basis. What does this mean? That the decree be accompanied by “a full awareness of how we feel, how we value our life in the present and whether we accept it as it is.”

Otherwise, he warns, “decreeing may seem more like an impulsive reaction to try to erase our current dissatisfaction rather than a conscious response to it”.

He proposes, why not, a small mindfulness exercise: “The most important step to decree something is to do nothing, to decree nothing, to make an attentive and connected pause with what I am feeling without having to respond to it”.

The next thing is to sit quietly and slowly bring the attention to the breath. Simply pausing to observe both our feelings and physical sensations. “Without trying to stop what I don’t like or focus only on what I like,” she says. “Just opening up attentive listening, with a receptive attitude to everything that’s going on.”

“Decreeing or wishing has the power to motivate us, to help us put our mind and our abilities toward a focus. This leads us to action and achievement. Decreeing helps to focus the mind, to feel enthusiasm and excitement, basic principles to help make things happen,” Sharon assures.

But there is a but. There always is. Sharon says that after we decree something, “we must stay focused on it, prepare and work.”

Do’s and don’ts
The scales of your decrees are likely to be tipped on the side of unfulfilled desires. This is true for most people. There is no figure or study to confirm this, but there is nothing to disprove it either, so we’ll run with that intuition. Why does this happen?

“It’s a number of things that can cause our desires to go unfulfilled,” notes Sharon. One of the most common problems is having unrealistic expectations. “Wanting to do much more in the next twelve months than a person can actually accomplish, either by time, ability or context.”

This causes, he warns, that wishing becomes a space of frustration and “that people wish more out of ritual than conviction, and do not see it as an opportunity to return to having a north that motivates their behaviors”.

Another mistake, he assures, is to desire things that are beyond personal control. For example, “that another person changes, or that the context be this way or that way”.

“Wishes should be focused on those areas in which one can have a say, so that one can then dedicate oneself to fulfilling them. Wishes should be challenging but realistic, something that can be achieved with existing resources,” he advises. Adjusting expectations, therefore, is key.

A good start, Sharon suggests, is to recognize what we have learned during the year and what we want to learn about ourselves during the coming year. Garcia reveals another password: “focus more on being than on having and doing.”

It is essential that together with the ideas of what you want, you make a list of behaviors and decisions to focus on those new habits that must be implemented. That is to say, together with the decreed objective, make a kind of pre-decree, identifying what things, principles or values (for example perseverance or self-discipline) I have to develop so that the road to that goal can be paved.

“It is advisable to write down the determinations with estimated dates, as clearly and realistically as possible, including probable obstacles and some ways to overcome them,” adds Garcia.

Finally, Sharon proposes “to establish a commitment and find the internal motivation for what you want. Because decreeing is easy, but committing ourselves every day to achieve what we want is the great challenge. In this line, she agrees with this phrase of Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology: “Who looks outward, dreams; who looks inward, awakens”.

No crees relaciones transaccionales

Do not create transactional relationships

Humans are gregarious beings, we are made to share and build relationships. However, that does not mean that we have the skills or the right approach to carry them forward, if that were the case all bonds would be healthy, lasting and satisfying, but that is not so. For that reason, it is important that you don’t create transactional relationships, but that you give a twist to the way you bond.

I’ve been a startup founder for more than 10 years and I’ve been able to meet many, many people over that time. One of the things I have seen many times, and I have the impression that it has increased in the last few years, is the transactional approach.

You used to meet for coffee, now most of the time it’s a video call. Just as photos are now posted with a filter, it seems that human encounters are also using them, as if that really helps at all.

Nothing convinces more than the genuine, in the same way, as the best way to open opportunities is to help others to get theirs too. However, we are full of transactional relationships, I give you this and you give me that. In other words, a business, but not a relationship.

Of course, in every human bond we have a transaction, of time, attention, ideas, emotions, etc. However, I wonder if this is the model applicable to everything today, or maybe not everything, but more things than it should be.

Personally, I was also like this for many years. Maybe because I lived superficial relationships, interest bonds and taking advantage, is that over the years my look changed and I only want to link with those who really want to open collaboration that enlarges the cake and not only think about how we share it.

Human beings have a unique creative capacity, so great that if we get together and exchange views, experiences and ideas in an open and generous way, we will surely create bigger and better things. But of course, if I share my idea with you, “they will steal it from me”. The magic has always been in those people capable of taking ideas and turning them into reality, and this process of transmutation of thought, as Napoleon Hill would say, happens in a better way when we do it in a network, collaboratively.

Many talk about circular economy, shared value, mentoring networks and so much more, and I ask you, are you willing to contribute without looking at the calculator? If we are, genuinely and constantly, we will see that the same calculator now only knows how to multiply, because in the encounter of the human, the divine, the abundant and the opportunities that were hidden before, emerge.

In times of great changes and challenges of enormous size, the construction of networks and links is a necessity and something we must promote. However, if we do it from the transaction and how do I get something for myself, we will continue to weaken the magic of making community, collaboration and joint construction.

Today, we do not create transactional relationships, but rather networks of reciprocal, genuine, open and generous collaboration. Just as human life has always been in community, today, businesses and organizations must also be built with the same perspective, leveraging the strengths of each one to obtain encouraging results in a highly complex and challenging world.


PAES results are approaching

The results of the new PAES, which marks the entrance to higher education institutions that are part of the single entry system, are only a few days away.

Not only has a new instrument been released that promises to be able to measure more than just the knowledge of the students, but also to be able to collect the competencies they have to enter the world of higher education.

We do not yet know if this promise will really be fulfilled, what we do know is that thousands of young people and their families are eagerly awaiting the results, excited about the choice that will mark their studies in the coming years.

However, these new students will face some challenges not yet solved by the educational system, such as a training focused on competencies for the 21st century, which entails a change in the way professionals have been taught for decades. Competencies such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate and work in teams are just some of these skills, not to mention digital competencies, which have become the new literacy of these times.

Another urgent situation that needs to be addressed is related to the level of student desertion that continues to exist in our system. In Chile, 28.8% of higher education students do not finish their studies, and worldwide this number reaches 34%, generating an enormous social and economic impact, both for the student and his family, as well as for the State and the institutions.

Finally, the duration of careers and their connection with the real world of work is another challenge that has not yet advanced at the required speed. In a world that is changing at an unprecedented speed, continuing to have a bachelor’s degree in five or six years does not seem to make any sense, so rethinking the way in which education is taught and what should be learned becomes a task that has not yet been really addressed by the institutions and education authorities of the countries.

Thus, the challenge continues, now with a new generation of young people who aspire to receive an education that will enable them to face the challenges they will have to face with better skills, in a volatile and uncertain context, but which is still open to opportunities for those who have the vision and the necessary skills to face them.

We will continue to await the new results of this test for access to higher education in Chile, with the confidence that, albeit slowly, we will continue to advance to an educational system that provides a higher level of quality, in connection with the challenges of an environment that requires more and better technicians and professionals, who not only have knowledge of their specific areas, but also have those skills that make the difference.

The challenge is still open.

adorable schoolboys reading book in library

Three priorities in education: reading, reading and reading.

We talk a lot in education about the gaps in the learning process. Personally, working with universities in different countries, everywhere it is a challenge to catch up with new students, a gap that often not only fails to be closed, but ends up in the dropout of students with low performance, feeding a cycle of inequalities, lack of opportunities and poverty.

But let us look at school education. Clearly there are many challenges and problems in this important and complex area to implement with quality. However, just as a house must be built from the ground up, so must the learning process.

So, let us consider that a high percentage of the population does not understand what they read (functional illiteracy), and now let us look at the figures that show that students of 6, 7, 8 and even 9 years old still do not know how to read, a gap clearly exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic of covid 19, which we have tried to level with curricular prioritization, and that continues to drag important deficiencies.

Thus, if we want to think about public policy priorities in education, it is not so difficult to find the path to follow: read, read and read. Finally, it is the ability to read and write that enables the learning of other skills and knowledge, both in the teaching of the first formative cycles, as well as those skills expected of students in more advanced courses.

It is true. Teacher training and evaluation systems leave much to be desired and this is something that must be improved promptly. It is true that funding is always a sensitive issue, although it is enough to take a walk around the schools to see the amount of resources lost and misused (perhaps it is not a lack of resources, but the way in which they are being used).

We could list a series of challenges. But what if the focus for the next few years were that every child should reach the highest level of literacy? is it crazy? is it too costly?

The answers to these questions are fairly easy to visualize. If this were done, we would be building a new foundation of capabilities for the generations of the next 20 years, with more and better learning skills, communication and understanding of the world around them. It is neither crazy nor expensive to do so, it just lacks vision and political will.

Perhaps if political commitments and slogans were removed, to put the needs of the country’s children and youth at the center, the path to follow would be clearer. Perhaps, the authorities could put away the small calculator they carry in their pockets, to open the pages that contain a world to be discovered, to bring out the best in each student and, with it, the talents that will build the future of our society.