The Government of Paraguay, through the Ministries of Education and Science, Finance and other government entities, as well as representatives of civil society, began an articulated process to build a plan and a consensus roadmap on education in the country.
Problems and Objective
The Paraguayan educational system has tried to adapt to the challenges of today's world. However, the results have not been satisfactory so far. Little success was had in creating new study tools and methods to help with an effective, interactive, practical and inclusive process.
The objective is to seek to improve the quality of the educational system and the management model, developing a document that will be the framework of Paraguayan educational policy for the next 10 years.
Background and Context
Paraguay has experienced a series of educational reforms since the fall of the dictatorship, which have failed to improve the quality of education processes. In the last 30 years, the different initiatives have generated changes in these processes, but the results were not what was expected.
Currently, Paraguayan education occupies the last positions in quality in the region, which is why it is urgent to talk about education in Paraguay: with the "Educational Transformation" project, we seek to dialogue with all sectors to agree on what we want for children, youth and adults of our country.
Organizing, support and financing entities
The process is led by a Strategic Committee, made up of the highest authorities of the Ministry of Education and Sciences (MEC), the Ministry of Finance (MH), the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning (STP), the Management Unit of the Presidency of the Republic (UGPR) and referents of civil society.
Recruitment and Selection of Participants
To favor the participation of the different sectors, spaces for participation have been created, such as talks, with various actors of society in which the strengths of the educational system are analyzed, the vision they have of education in the future, the necessary changes and strategies are proposed to improve the current situation.
Also a digital consultation, which consists of an online survey that will allow the participation of various sectors of society to be expanded quickly and accurately.
The creation of technical tables that are spaces for technical analysis , made up of local and foreign experts from each of the disciplines addressed. Likewise, thematic roundtables for sectoral debate with broad citizen participation, designed to delve into the different aspects related to the thematic axes of the project.
Methods and Tools used
There are a series of activities planned according to different stages.
These stages are:
Preparation: procedures and steps taken to implement a general plan of action for the project, from the incorporation of work teams, specialists and collaborators, the development of a website, the identification of actors, among others.
Diagnosis: documentary reviews, interviews with key actors and different spaces for review and feedback with local and foreign specialists, to determine the current situation of education in our country.
Consultation: spaces for dialogue, articulation and debate with various sectors of society, for the construction of a shared vision of the education that we yearn for and the main strategic guidelines of the plan.
Formulation: preparation of the first educational policy guidelines (first draft of the plan), a document that will contain the specific proposals for policies, programs, projects and changes to be developed in the Paraguayan educational system.
Feedback: socialization of the first draft of the plan for citizens to review and contribute to the document through participation spaces.
Approval: validation of the final version of the document with the contributions incorporated in all the participation spaces. This stage will end with a great event in which the main representatives of society will be invited to sign the Pact for Educational Transformation.
What Happened: Process, Interaction and Participation
A rigorous analysis of the education sector has been carried out based on existing qualitative and quantitative research. In this way, we sought to describe in detail how the national education system (SEN) works and identify the opportunities for improvement that exist and, consequently, specify the critical points that must be addressed or not, in the PNTE 2030 and in the Roadmap 2020. -2030.
The specific diagnoses of each axis were constructed from three main sources of information, namely: i) a review of the official documentation of the educational system (for example, laws, resolutions, plans, guidelines; ii) investigations of the educational system (national and international), and iii) meetings and interviews to gather information with key actors of the MEC at the central and departmental levels, through technical roundtables, thematic roundtables and discussions made up of officials from the education sector, local experts in each axis and referents of civil society. Thus, for the preparation of the document, the diagnosis made by the World Bank in 2018, called "Technical reports to contribute to the debate on Education in Paraguay", was taken as a basis, but it goes much deeper into each subject, achieving a vast and robust body of evidence that adjusts to the Paraguayan reality. On the other hand, it is highlighted that a balance was sought between the information obtained first-hand and that obtained in formal reports, in order to give special attention to the idiosyncratic and cultural values of the country.
The diagnosis of the seven axes would be incomplete if it were investigated in a vacuum; The research process requires understanding how the axes interact with each other in reality and in practice. The cross-cutting themes that run along the axes offer insights into how the way forward should be paved for an effective and comprehensive understanding of how the entire education system works. For this purpose, the diagnosis of each axis is accompanied by a systemic analysis that accounts for five cross-cutting critical points that impact the scope of the desired results of student learning for a 21st century education. The combination of research on specific issues of each axis and systemic analysis will serve as the basis for the design of the National Plan for Educational Transformation and the 2020-2030 Roadmap.
That said, the diagnosis should be a fundamental input for the next stage of the project: the formulation of the General Educational Policy Guidelines, the design of the 2030 National Plan for Educational Transformation and the 2020-2030 Roadmap.
Influence, Results and Effects
From the project "Design of the Educational Transformation Strategy of Paraguay 2030", the FIRST AGREEMENT has been presented , the result of a wide social consultation that summoned more than 600 thousand people, as well as the exhaustive review of theoretical and empirical background of national and international research.
This document contemplates eight axes of educational policies that have defined strategic lines that will be the basis for the national dialogue that will continue to enrich them.
The document indicates that the National Plan for Educational Transformation 2030 (PNTE 2030) will form a set of policies and strategic lines with a horizon of 10 years for its fulfillment, which will aim to offer a comprehensive and permanent education that as a system and process performed in the context of the culture of the community (National Constitution, Art.73).
The educational transformation puts students in the central place and aims at the integral development of people. Also the generation of relationships of collaborative professionalism at all levels of the educational system, where the interactions between the different levels and actors of education are constructive to serve the needs of the students. Finally, it is pointed out that educational institutions become a communityfrom learning.
In the next step, a roadmap will be proposed that organizes these actions, starting first by recognizing the progress that Paraguay has made in the different areas, and then proposing, with a systemic vision, a logic of action that allows the gradual construction of that educational system. that Paraguayans dream of and includes clear lines of action to be implemented in order to achieve the objectives outlined in the PNTE 2030. Having a roadmap to 2030 is key for the country to be able to build political and social agreements that allow sustainable progress in the implementation of the actions agreed by all parties. It will be a job that will require strong foundations in human and institutional development, to prepare to face the challenges and uncertainties that the complex context of the 21st century and the post-pandemic world harbors.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
Public consultations and technical diagnoses of education in Paraguay have coincided in defining great transformative purposes for education. The current situation does not meet the needs of people or society, and is far from safeguarding the construction of a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future.
The set of proposed policies must be concatenated to generate virtuous circles that encourage educational actors to transform their practices and the system to improve its processes and management. These recommendations, emanating from the public consultation, are subject to feedback and improvement, as should be the process of implementing the educational transformation that, without losing its way, can incorporate learning from the successes and also from the lessons learned that may occur. during the complex design and implementation process.
ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM Diagnosis to contribute to the debate on Education, as part of the Project "Design of the Educational Transformation Strategy of Paraguay 2030". July, 2021. https://www.transformacioneducativa.edu.py/_files/ugd/39c664_4c0ee813a7614c98bc8c252e9c6b3778.pdf
FIRST AGREEMENT FOR THE DESIGN OF THE PARAGUAY 2030 EDUCATIONAL TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY. November, 2021. https://www.transformacioneducativa.edu.py/_files/ugd/39c664_9abbc9d26ac34ab09d6cb7d6b49eed73.pdf