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[Work Plan]

Department of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology (DECST)

1. Activities Assigned

The Program assigns the following four specific activities to the Department of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology:

Promote cooperation among educational institutions in different states to facilitate the incorporation of migrant children into schools and promote the exchange and training of teachers working in the field of bilingual and intercultural education.

Foster the modernization of curricular standards to introduce standards on job-related skills.

Include human rights education for migrants and their families within the activities of the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices. In particular, consider including education for migrants and their families in the activities of the electronic observatory, organizing discussion forums on the topic, and gathering information on public education programs for migrants in sending, transit, and receiving countries.

Consider the possibility of periodically organizing a hemispheric seminar for training public officials in immigration policies and human rights, as well as in the detection of forged documents, with the support and participation of specialists, international organizations, and civil society.

2. Activities Carried Out

Several initiatives were organized by the Department of Education and Culture (DEC) in 2006 that relate to the specific activities outlined in the Inter American Program for Migrants. In the area of education, these activities were organized within the frameworks of the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices and the Inter American Teacher Educator Network.

With respect to the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, two meetings were held in 2006 that included consideration of topics related to the promotion of human rights of migrants.

The Advisory Board Meeting of the Inter American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices was held in Bogotá, Colombia on April 17-19. The objective of the meeting was to produce specific recommendations in the three main components of the Program (Research, Professional Development, and Information Exchange) in order facilitate the development of a Work Plan for the Program. The meeting included discussion on strategies for developing curriculum and teacher training in multicultural contexts that include vulnerable populations such as migrants. (for a complete report of this activity see www.educadem.oas.org ).

The Department of Education and Culture (DEC) and the Secretariat for Public Education of Mexico (SEP) jointly organized an international seminar on good practices in citizenship education in Mexico City on July 4-7, 2006. The event included a panel on civic education in contexts with indigenous populations, special education schools, agricultural migrants and multi-grade schools.

In the framework of the OAS Inter-American Teachers Network (ITEN) the DEC participated in a meeting of the Commonwealth Steering Committee on Teacher Migration in April 2006. One of the main topics of the meeting was to analyze data gathered on the implementation of the Teacher Recruitment Protocol. The Protocol seeks to balance the right of a person to migrate with the responsibility of a government to develop its human resources and establishes basic labor standards and rights for recruited teachers working outside their country of origin. Within the context of the Inter-American Teacher Educator Network (ITEN), the Network has established intercultural teacher education in rural areas to be priority. To this end, the DEC is considering programming a knowledge-sharing seminar about this topic with the Pedagogical University of Colombia for late spring 2007 (see below).

Finally, related to the recommended specific activity to help “Foster the modernization of curricular standards to introduce standards on job-related skills”, the Department of Education and Culture helped organize and facilitate a hemispheric meeting of the coordinators of the FEMCIDI funded Project “School Management and Certification for Development and Accreditation of Labor Competencies at the Upper Secondary Level”. The DEC has provided technical and administrative support to the project since its launching in 2003. The meeting explored different models for developing competency-based education systems that can provide more flexible entry and exit points into the education and the labor sectors through a system of accreditation and certification and therefore better address the needs of mobile populations

3. Activities Being Planned

Current related activities that are initial stages of planning for 2007 include:

The Inter American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices will feature a special edition in its on-line bulletin on Human Rights, Education, and Migrants in the second half of 2007.

Within the framework of the Inter-American Teacher Educator Network (ITEN), presently DEC is working with ITEN members to consider the feasibility of two knowledge seminars – one on the challenges and strategies for rural teachers with diverse populations and another on intercultural teacher education with a special focus on indigenous populations.

Finally, within the context of the project of the Inter-American Committee on Education entitled “Policies and Strategies for a Successful Transition of Young Children to Socialization and School,” a collaboration with the Bernard Van Leer Foundation of the Netherlands will shine special attention on early childhood education and care programs for indigenous populations along the borders of several countries.

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