One of the government’s greatest achievements in educational matters during the four-year period was ensuring that the sector not only became, but also maintained, the sector with the largest participation in the state’s general budget.
However, this did not solve the problems of financing education in the country. In fact, at the end of 2021, EL TIEMPO published a report from the Educational Management Observatory of the Education Pioneers Foundation that stated that Of the 49.4 billion pesos received by the sector in 2022, 89 percent was earmarked for operating expenses and only 11 percent for investment.
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This report showed other problems in the way education is financed today, such as the fact that investment in kindergarten, primary and middle schools has fallen. The above is troubling because one might think that the increase in resources should be distributed fairly, and there is also talk of schools and kindergartens, which serve more than 10 million children and adolescents (about 8 million in the formal sector).)
With all this in mind, and in the middle of the election campaign, the Entrepreneur Foundation once again draws attention to the issue, this time by reformulating the funding scheme for pre-school, primary and secondary education.
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In addition to the above data, the Foundation highlights that despite the comparison, the percentage of GDP invested in education in Colombia is at a similar level to the average of other OECD countries (4.9 vs. 4.8) per cent over respectively), the annual per-student investment figures are much lower.
Even comparing it to what other countries in the region are investing in, such as Chile ($6,356), Colombia at a much lower level ($3219) Reach numbers up to only half the average. And at the OECD level, that number is $10,454.
According to the organization, this affects the academic performance of Colombian students, who in the 2018 PISA tests (the last applied tests) were below the world average.
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Incidentally, Andrea Escobar, Director of Entrepreneurs in Education emphasizes: “As a country and as a society, we face the challenge of making the right decisions – especially at this time as we strive to weather the effects of the pandemic – to promote better opportunities for boys and girls, youth and teens. This leads us to ask ourselves how to make Investing in more efficient education and ensuring improvements in learning and reducing educational gaps. In this context, from Education Pioneers, we want to make visible expert recommendations to improve the system through which resources are currently being transferred to the regions, to contribute to the quality of education in Colombia as an introduction to a more equitable society.”
These recommendations relate to the method for using the resources of the System of Public Participation (SGP), which represents 58 percent of the national budget for education (about 28.6 billion pesos).
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Thus, the Foundation presents the following proposals for financing education in three central areas: adequacy, efficiency, and equity.
In terms of adapting the system to ensure the necessary resources required by education in Colombia, an increase in public investment is necessary for this area, particularly with regard to the quality of education. How can this be done?:
One. Adjusting the increase in the annual allocation to the System of Public Participation (SGP) in education so that it corresponds to a real increase, i.e. inflation plus some additional growth points.
two. At the same time, motivate local governments so that they allocate more of their own resources to the education sector and become responsible for investing in education in their territory.
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In this axis, it is necessary to separate the resources devoted to improving the educational quality to those resources that focus only on service delivery, i.e. payment of salaries for teachers and teaching directors. In this way, increased amounts are also ensured based on efficiency and equity.
Competence seeks to enhance the institutional capacity of education trustees so that they can make better use of educational resources and obtain better educational outcomes. How do?:
One. Increasing accountability procedures regarding the destination of the invested resources to exercise some kind of control over funds and reduce their improper use.
two. Phasing out the “complementary” component of the service delivery portfolio, allowing the system to move towards a per capita allocation formula that improves distribution in education secretariats through predictive models and introduces performance indicators such as quality improvement.
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3. Reward those areas that establish practices in teacher management that are reflected in the reallocation of resources dedicated to paying salaries and directing them to quality.
Finally, the proposal for equal opportunity with regard to ensuring equitable access to education is embodied in four basic actions or proposals:
One. Introduce a mechanism to redistribute private resources earmarked for education or, alternatively, transfer additional resources through the SGP to areas with lower tax revenue.
two. Restructuring the quality component of the SGP so that all transfers are made directly to schools, incorporating different social and economic conditions at the student level and improving educational performance.
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3. Adjust the distribution of teachers in the regions of the country so that those with more experience and higher performance teach in regions with worse socioeconomic conditions and lower quality.
four. Provide financial incentives to teachers in the most disadvantaged schools, especially those in rural and conflict areas.
“All of the above, the Entrepreneurs for Education proposal to amend the funding scheme for pre-school, basic and secondary education in Colombia, with an emphasis on the system of public participation. Which, although so far and formally, meets some indicators of allocation compared to countries However, it does not achieve results in better quality, accessibility and efficiency of education in the country,” says the organization.
– 5 out of every 100 students failed the course in the first year of the epidemic
– ICFEs recalled more than 105,000 people for first state exams for 2022
– The best schools in the country in the Saber 11 tests