February 26, 2021

The OEI advocates to regulate the use of mobile phones during school breaks

The Secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), the Spanish Mariano Jabonero, advocated in an interview with Efe for regulating the use of mobile phones in school breaks, following the example of France.

Jabonero, who came to Sao Paulo to the I High Level Meeting of Ministerial and Institutional Representatives of Culture of the OEI, also warned about the impact of new technologies on youth learning and addressed the challenges of the educational and cultural sector of the Ibero-American space.

For the general secretary of this multilateral organization based in Madrid, education in the region continues to be entrenched in "low quality", "inequality" and "little inclusion".

Question: What is the passage of the cultural industry of Ibero-America?

Answer: The economy of culture worldwide has an important impact, but in Latin America it has a relatively small impact in the world. It represents only 6%.

Q. When we talk about education, countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Finland are always cited as examples to follow.

R. There is a bit of mythomania, they are different countries from ours, with an educational model of success in a specific context. I remember that the most that has advanced in PISA (the OECD school evaluation test) has been Peru in the reading test. Portugal has been the most advanced in the quality of education among the EU countries in almost 20 years.

P. Curious the case of Portugal.

R. He was intervened by the "community troika" (rescue for the economic and financial crisis) in 2011. He suffered a very tough economic situation and improved his education more than anyone else. Those automatisms of spending more and having better results are not always fulfilled.

P. Returning to Culture, what can governments do to promote it without impacting their budgets so much?

A. In the case of America, we find the Dominican Republic, which invests in culture through tax exemptions. It is a role model (…). According to data from 2018, there is one country (Ibero-American) that can exceed 1% of GDP in Culture, which is Colombia, and also Brazil. The ideal would be an investment between 2 and 3%. The return to the country would be double.

Q. What is the Achilles heel of the region?

R. It continues as an educational system of low quality, a lot of inequality -with great differences according to the origin of the family-, and little inclusive. There is a slow improvement. Although seeing the glass half full, the educational coverage is almost 95%, a historical fact, but, once in school, the quality is not good.

Q. In some countries such as Brazil, too much has been invested in higher education to the detriment of basic education?

A. In Brazil, significant investment was made in all educational levels, there are the data. In Latin America, there are 30 million students (record growth) and 70% of them come from families where no one went to university (…). The problem is that currently having a child go to college does not guarantee getting out of poverty.

Q. Are there more technical careers in Latin America?

R. Only 2% of students enter agricultural careers, being that it is the richest region in the world in natural resources of the agricultural sector and very few study a career for what is a backbone for the economy of the region.

Q. How is the salary of the teachers?

R. It has gone up in a general way (…). The case of (Dominican Republic), Panama (…) the salary is about $ 1,000 per month in the region. Eight or ten years ago there were salaries of 100 or 200 dollars.

Q. Are new technologies a gateway for false information within the student body?

R. There is an inflation of information, without the ability to discriminate. We are in a digital culture in which the weight of information controlled through algorithms is conditioning the lives of citizens (…). A boy or girl of 15 or 18 years does not know what is going to buy clothes in 15 days, but Google does (because of the algorithms that direct advertising to specific audiences).

Q. In the classes, are you favorable to limit the internet?

R. What the teacher says. There are cases where in the classroom is a resource, a door of opportunities, but in other cases not so much. In France they have banned the use of cell phones during breaks. The image of a recess of a school with or without a cell phone changes completely. With cell phone, all standing, still. And without a cell phone, everyone running, playing sports, playing.

Q. So you have to regulate it?

R. Claro. At recess it is normal to sing, chat, have fun, sing, and not be as autistic with the device.

Antonio Torres del Cerro

. (tagsToTranslate) OEI (t) regular (t) mobile (t) recreations (t) schools

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