"A Lot Remains To Be Done" To Improve Education in Panama

Wednesday, May 09 2012 @ 07:16 PM UTC

Contributed by: Don Winner

Improvements in the Panamanian educational system continue along at an agonizing pace. Yesterday the presentation of the report "Finding Matches between the Strategic Plan of the Government and the National Coalition Agreements for Development" revealed there is still a lot left to be done in education. There were very few matches generated in this first effort by the institutions that form the Verification and Monitoring Mechanism.

Restlessness - The issue caused anxiety and concern among the various sectors. The president of the National Business Council (Conep), Anthony Fletcher, recognized there have been important improvements, but he is still concerned and asks "whether Panama will reach that goal," referring to improving the quality, efficiency and decentralization of the national education system. "In addition to everything positive that the Ministry of Education has been developing, we must greatly improve its disclosure mechanism in order to know what progress we've had," he stressed.

No agreements - In some of the issues in which there was no agreement was to increase the hours of math, doing more hours of practical exercises, setting goals for each grade in reading, a comprehensive educational project to promote fun and participation in the classroom, in addition to the application of objective national and international standardized selection tests, among other topics.

For the executive secretary of the Council of the National Coalition for Development, Jaime Jacome, there has not been a priority or prioritization of these programs by the Government. "This does not mean it's good or bad. The fact that there is a lack of progress on a specific issue depends on many factors," he said. Jacome said these are long-term goals rather than immediate compliance. No doubt in Panama there is an urgent need to create a state policy that transcends governments (politics) and thus achieve excellence in education. (Mi Diario)

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