Canadian educational assistance in Latin America and the Caribbean is focused on access to quality education that is relevant and culturally appropriate. Quality education can overcome income disparities and enable poor and marginalized children and youth to access good employment, participate in decision-making and integrate into mainstream society as equal citizens.
Beyond support to early childhood education and basic education, Canada supports vocational training and technical education, targeting youth and workers, both in training institutions (learners with and without a secondary education diploma) and the workplace.
CIDA has also contributed to the professional development of teachers in the region. One example is ongoing support to the Guyana Basic Education Teacher Training project (GBET) for the initial and ongoing preparation of early childhood, primary and secondary teachers in Guyana. Using innovative distance education methodologies, GBET has reached and trained thousands of teachers, including many female indigenous teachers from the interior of Guyana. CIDA’s support furthers Guyana’s goal of training and certifying a majority of teachers in primary and secondary schools across the country in order to improve the quality of public education.
Canada is contributing to strengthening access to quality education in Latin America and the Caribbean with growing support to youth development, both in formal and non-formal education. CIDA’s support to countries in the region focusing on youth and education includes, for example, support to Colombia between 2005 and 2013 for children’s rights and protection through education for internally displaced and at-risk children and adolescents, in particular in rural areas, and Indigenous and Afro-descendant youths.
In keeping with its Aid Effectiveness Agenda, in 2009, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) announced its international assistance would focus on three themes including Securing a future for Children and Youth. Through CIDA, Canada is supporting ongoing and new initiatives that are contributing to the improved quality and access to early childhood, basic, vocational and technical education in the hemisphere. Canada’s official development assistance in education in the region includes improving access to basic education, particularly for girls, teacher training and increasing access to learning opportunities for children and youth.
For example, CIDA is supporting the World Food Programme School Feeding Program in Nicaragua which provides daily meals to school children. In Peru, CIDA supports increased access to quality early childhood education. The project has achieved better quality of basic education at the primary level and uses a solid methodology to measure student learning outcomes; over the years, there has been a significant increase of student learning in language and mathematics. In Haiti, CIDA supports the Health and Education Fund to improve the quality, accessibility, and governance of basic education services for poor communities.
Several countries in the region are also benefitting from the multi-donor Education Program Development Fund with support from Canada. This fund provides resources to lower income countries to accelerate progress towards universal primary education with technical support and capacity building to prepare sound national education planning.
Agence canadienne de développement international - Stratégie sur les enfants et les jeunes
Canadian International Development Agency - Children and Youth Strategy