El imperativo de la educación del mundo emergente

NUEVA DELHI – Delegaciones oficiales de los nueve países más poblados del mundo acaban de reunirse en Nueva Delhi para discutir un tema vital para el futuro de sus países: la educación. El encuentro de ministros y otros funcionarios de Bangladesh, Brasil, China, Egipto, India, Indonesia, México, Nigeria y Pakistán, conocidos como el E-9, es el último en una serie de reuniones llevadas a cabo cada dos años para cumplir la promesa de “educación para todos” para 2015.

El E-9 representa el 54% de la población del mundo, el 42,3% de los niños sin escolaridad, el 58% de los jóvenes analfabetos (entre 15 y 24 años) y el 67% de los adultos analfabetos (dos tercios de los cuales son mujeres). De modo que los desafíos son enormes: niños provenientes de familias demasiado pobres para pensar en educación, sin acceso a una escolaridad y demasiado desnutridos como para estudiar; y una escasez de escuelas, aulas, recursos educativos y maestros correctamente instruidos. El analfabetismo endémico es la base de otros problemas, como los estallidos demográficos, los desequilibrios de género y la pobreza generalizada.

La India ofrece un buen ejemplo de cómo deberían abordarse estos problemas. Hace una década, 30 millones de niños indios no iban a la escuela; hoy, la cifra es tres millones. Una Ley de derecho a la educación de amplio alcance, que obliga al estado y los gobiernos centrales a ofrecer (como un derecho constitucional) ocho años de educación gratuita y obligatoria a todos los niños entre 6 y 14 años, ha tenido un gran impacto. Y las comidas gratuitas al mediodía son un fuerte incentivo para que los niños de familias pobres asistan a la escuela y se queden allí.

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