OSC and Nicaragua for an equitable and inclusive social transformation through education

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The commitment of the Organisation of educational cooperation (OEC) and the Republic of Nicaragua to achieve an equitable, just and inclusive social transformation through education, marks the events of the Central American nation that celebrates this 23 March the 42nd anniversary of the Literacy Crusade.

In order to build a powerful narrative of integration from the Global South, the OEC Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Manssour Bin Mussallam, held a series of meetings with authorities of the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity involved in education, including the National Technological Institute (INATEC) and the National Council of Universities.

In the conversations Bin Mussallam held with the Executive Director of INATEC, H.E. Ms. Loyda Barreda Rodríguez, the convergences between the Organisation of which Nicaragua is a founding member state and the initiatives and policies undertaken here that place the human being as the protagonist, transcended.

“What kind of world do we want? It is not enough to live in society, we have to build society collectively”, reflected the OEC Secretary-General, supported by the Universal Declaration on Balanced and Inclusive Education (UDEI) which states: “the propensity to prepare for the future as an inevitable and abstract promise has become conventional, and that the future of Humanity is the result of the constant struggle of people of all countries, faiths, ethnicities and genders, acting together with the strength, courage and uncompromising will to transform elusive aspirations into palpable reality”.

He also mentioned that closing the techno-digital divide in a sustainable way must be done through endogenous technological development.

“It must be local, national and original. And their ideas and experiences have been very valuable for us and we hope to have the opportunity to eventually deepen our technical knowledge to learn from INATEC’s experience,” he said.

For his part, Barreda Rodríguez explained that, 15 years after its foundation, INATEC promotes knowledge, dignifies trades and recognises the skills acquired in the work environment of rural and urban workers; to achieve this, it now has 46 centres throughout the country, with classrooms, laboratories and workshops equipped for student practice.

It was also learned that the National Technological Institute (INATEC) brings training closer to the community, neighbourhoods and public schools through different training strategies focused on the “Learn, Undertake, Prosper” Programme.

Finally, in statements to the press, the Executive Director of INATEC pointed out: “We exchanged our views on transformative education and in particular on technical education and training, our experience as a country, all these evolutionary processes and also to identify future lines of work that we can develop”.

Intercultural Inclusion: What progress is Nicaragua showing from its universities?

On Tuesday, the Secretary General of the OEC, H.E. Mr Manssour Bin Mussallam, also learned about Nicaragua’s progress in terms of inclusive and intercultural education in the country’s higher education institutions during an exchange with representatives of the National Council of Universities (CNU).

Finally, in statements to the press, the Executive Director of INATEC pointed out: “We exchanged our views on transformative education and in particular on technical education and training, our experience as a country, all these evolutionary processes and also to identify future lines of work that we can develop”.

Bin Mussallam confirmed OEC’s determination to continue to open collective paths towards an education where inclusion is conceived “not merely as the act of including more people, but of making sure that exclusion becomes impossible”.

Likewise, the President of the CNU, Ramona Rodríguez, presented the inter-institutional approach with which Higher Education is implemented in order to guarantee the educational continuity that is taken to all Nicaraguan communities.

“We have presentd the University in the Countryside programme, because it is an emblematic programme for Nicaragua, a revolutionary programme, an innovative programme that is being supported by our Presidency,” she said.

The launch of the Nicaragua Education Journal Index generated much debate, as Professor Rodríguez and the head of the OEC agreed on the relevance of making the results of academic research visible, of creating a space for the active participation of scientists, specialists, teachers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, technicians and professionals in general.

The Secretary-General of the Organisation highlighted the way in which the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity assumes the feedback of local, indigenous, endogenous knowledge and wisdom, a reality that for many countries of the Global South continues to be a challenge today.

“In this exchange that has strengthened our determination, we have learned, and I have learned personally, that the achievements of the higher education system, which in reality cannot be separated from basic education, nor can it be separated from health or any other sector, this higher education system in Nicaragua has made great progress in the direction of the vision proclaimed by the Universal Declaration on Balanced and Inclusive Education of which Nicaragua, the Government of Nicaragua, is a signatory country, one of the first countries to have signed that declaration,” he concluded.

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