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Education Network's Regional Policy Dialogue

Date: 05 Dec 2012 to 06 Dec 2012

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Washington DC, United States

US Secretary of Education delivered the key note speech in Regional Policy Dialogue

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno led the welcome reception of the ninth meeting of the Education Network’s Regional Policy Dialogue. The event gathered education secretaries and vice ministers from accross Latin America and the Caribbean with first-rate experts to discuss school-to-work transition in the region.

At the beginning, Moreno said that “education, without a doubt, drives development among the nations” and that, in the past two decades, the countries of the region made important efforts to increase access. However, he emphasized that, in spite of these improvements, evidence suggests that education systems in the region are not preparing students adequately to transition successfully to the job market.  

“According to IDB surveys applied in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, in 2010, almost 90% of employers reported that they were unable to find workers with the skills they need,” Moreno explained. He added that, paradoxically, almost 60 million people, between 15 and 24 years old, face unemployment problems, informal employment and low salaries.

Before introducing the US Secretary of Education and keynote speaker of the evening Arne Duncan, Moreno concluded: "Preparing young people for 21st century challenges requires awareness from teachers and governments to help students face working lives’ demands".

Similarly, Duncan said that Latin America and the United States face similar challenges in education, including student achievement gaps and opportunities. He also said that many employers often tell him how difficult it is to find workers with the skills they need to be competitive.

The secretary shared the four elements of his strategy since he took office: "using incentives and competition, setting a high bar, promoting innovation and a career-to-cradle agenda."

He concluded by saying that, “throughout the world, when leaders make education a top priority, when they commit to change for children, when they have the courage to challenge the status quo, great things can and do happen for children.”

To read the full text of Secretary Arne Duncan’s remarks, click here

Place: 1300, New York Avenue, NW, 7th floor, Executive Dining Rooms. 

Contact information: marinab@iadb.org

This event is by invitation only.

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