Cross posted from the Jamaica Observer.
WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — A new study has found that only one in four students in basic education in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) attends an educational centre with sufficient school infrastructure.
The study undertaken by the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean involved a comparative analysis of the relation between the state of school infrastructure in the region and learning among students from 15 countries.
The research involved a comparison of students’ results in the assessments of the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE) and school infrastructure characteristics and it revolved around the concepts of sufficiency, equity, and effectiveness.
The TERCE study was carried out by the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), which is coordinated by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The study concludes that only one in four students in basic education in the region attend an educational centre with sufficient school infrastructure.
“Sufficiency is a concept related to access to six infrastructure categories: water and sanitation; connection to services; educational or academic spaces; offices areas; multipurpose rooms, and classroom equipment. In contrast, almost one third of the students in basic education attend schools with only two or less categories that met sufficiency levels of school infrastructure.”
Similarly, the analysis reveals significant inequalities in access to the different categories of school infrastructure, both in terms of students’ socioeconomic status and the geographic location of schools. In general, lower income students from countries that participated in TERCE attend schools with infrastructure in poor conditions.
The study also confirmed that most of the school infrastructure categories are positively and significantly associated with the students’ learning achievements.
“Although the situation is slightly different in each country, pedagogical and educational spaces (other than classrooms), followed by connection to services and the presence of multipurpose classrooms, are the infrastructure categories that are most often associated with higher learning achievements,” the report noted..
The IDB and UNESCO note that the research “highlights that the challenges for countries in the region lie not only in the provision of school infrastructure, but also in ensuring that these facilities truly become spaces and environments that promote a quality education”.