14 September 2010 Latin American countries must increase their annual education budgets if they are to reach the goals they have set for improving their national education systems, according to a new United Nations report released today.
The report, prepared jointly by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Organization of Iberoamerican States for Education, Science and Culture, called for each country in the region to boost its education spending by 0.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2013.
In April last year Latin American countries set a target date of 2021 for creating what they described as a solid foundation for sustained economic, social and cultural development, along with stronger democracy and social citizenship.
The new report arrived at its recommendation after first estimating the funding needed to meet those goals.
In that process, carried out with the participation of the countries, it became clear that some States would need additional sources of funding, both domestic and external, to reach their target. External measures could include establishing funds that would contribute between 20 and 40 per cent of the requirements of those in need.
If education funding is not increased as recommended, the annual deficit in education programmes in Latin America as a whole during the period 2011-2021 will average nearly $1.1 billion in 2005 figures, the study declared.
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