Educating the Children to Succeed
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1st February 2013

Students with limited access to education in Latin America sometimes fail to develop cognitive skills needed for success. Latin Education Index shows how Guatemala and Haiti lag in this area.
Education will become one of the main obstacles to competitiveness in Latin America over the next few years. Recent studies by Eric Hanushek at Stanford University show that the difference in students levels of knowledge have a lot to do with Latin Americas slow growth, compared to that of Asia or the Middle East. The problem is more about what students know, and the cognitive skills they acquire, rather than the number of years spent in the classroom.

Education will become one of the main obstacles to competitiveness in Latin America over the next few years. Recent studies by Eric Hanushek at Stanford University show that the difference in students’ levels of knowledge have a lot to do with Latin America’s slow growth, compared to that of Asia or the Middle East. The problem is more about what students know, and the cognitive skills they acquire, rather than the number of years spent in the classroom.
In Brazil and Peru, for example, only 1 in 10 student is functionally literate by age 20, says Hanushek. That means only 10 percent of those who finished primary school know how to read and write texts that are needed for their work, or everyday life. Hanushek also found that only 1.2 percent of Latin American students have superior cognitive skills. He adds that failure …

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