Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a programme that conducts an international survey every three years which is based on an evaluation of 15-year –old students to assess the education systems worldwide. The area of evaluation includes reading skills, mathematical aptitude, scientific aptitude, problem-solving ability and financial literacy. Out of 70 countries, Latin American countries and Caribbean region were ranked in the bottom of the list as per the latest published result in 2016 for the assessment done in. Chile was the only country to grab the 44th rank. Many countries from this region did not participate in the assessment because more than half of the students were in the list of school and college dropouts. This can be viewed as the failure of prevailing education system that is unable to provide students with a compulsory education which is the essence of an individual’s life.
Initiatives By Peru Peru has played a significant role in reforming its Education System. It facilitated the work of Ministry of Education so that it could focus on assessment of learning, allocation of adequate budget to be spent efficiently and training the teachers as professionals. These reforms often face resistance by the teacher unions but the other side of the coin is they are equally important to create an environment where performance is evaluated and rewarded as we see in the corporate organizations. Peru has become one of the largest improving countries in terms of learning outcomes measured by PISA among all participant countries.
Following Peru, several Latin American countries have adopted the similar model for improving their education system. Unlike Peru Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago have joined the list of improving countries in the field of science. All the participant countries have managed to increase their performance in at least one area of the three domains. The reason behind this increase is that the region realized the importance of quality education by which the human resource can be transformed into human capital and for that the countries increased their effort to expand access to schooling and increasing knowledge-based environment. Some countries have set their goals to use the results of their participation in the PISA as the core standards from which new policies can be formulated in order to develop sophisticated methods for improving the performance of their youth. Education itself is the foundation of development. “Where there is a will there is a way”. The youth of any country is the major determinant in deciding the direction of the country’s future.
The Latin American countries are working vigorously to get themselves recognized and these data help them in policymaking, fund allocation, training, and research. Institutions such as ‘Agencia de Calidad’, ‘ICFES’, ‘INEP, and ‘INEE’ in Chile, Colombia Brazil and Mexico respectively have become renowned, prestigious, autonomous and more progressive these days. These agencies are continuously working in the field of education keeping politics apart to develop a sense of acquiring the quality education for their students.
Educational reforms are more powerful reforms as compared to economic reforms because they emphasize on creating opportunities for people to work in a more professional way and play a vital role in developing their countries. The quality education contributed to the development of intellectual abilities, creativity, and aptitude which are the key requirements for entrepreneurship, inventions and taking the nation’s aspirations to a new height. Governments are liable to promote educational awareness for which various programmes and skill development policies could be formulated. It is the duty of every individual to make the youth realize their potential. Schools, universities and educational institutions in Latin America are now working hand in hand with their governments and they are regularly implementing new horizons of educational reforms in their curriculum so that the students could be exposed to the need of education and they avoid dropping their institutions at early levels.
The PISA’s initiative is so remarkable that the Latin American countries have now become so sensitive that most of the countries have started participating in this assessment and the day will come that these countries will manufacture ‘Global Brains’ in their educational institutions.