Education Ministers Approve Inter-American Education Agenda at OAS Meeting in Bahamas

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  February 10, 2017

Ministers of Education of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas today approved the Inter-American Education Agenda (IEA), the culmination of a two-year process of negotiations to define common priorities aimed at improving quality education in the region, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the United Nations in 2015.

The approval of the Inter-American Education Agenda is a milestone achievement in improving quality education in the Americas, as it codifies agreement on three concrete priorities: Quality, inclusive, and equitable education; Strengthening the teaching profession; and Comprehensive early childhood care.

The IEA aims to strengthen Inter-American cooperation and link efforts with other international organizations and regional and sub-regional entities to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

The Agenda includes concrete lines of action within each of its three priorities, and will be implemented for a period of five years, after which it will be reviewed by member states.

During the meeting, ministers also adopted the Declaration of The Bahamas, which establishes the commitment of the member states to "explore and identify resources," build alliances, and to otherwise work toward the implementation of the Inter-American Education Agenda.

In the closing session of the meeting, the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Nestor Mendez, said the Agenda would help to close the gap between the "available pool of skills and those demanded by firms" in the region. In addition, he said, the IEA "will help advance education in the hemisphere and be an important tool to support OAS member states in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

For his part, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology of The Bahamas and Chair of the Inter-American Committee on Education, Jerome Fitzgerald, said "We here have been given a world-class education. We therefore are mandated and required as leaders in education and policymakers to ensure that we afford all of our citizens the same opportunities we have had to give them the best opportunities for success."

The OAS, through the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, will be responsible for the implementation of the IEA, under the guidance of the Inter-American Committee on Education.

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