Thursday, November 29, 2012

Learning from the Global South: Support for Public Education in El Salvador

Allen Hines, at Upside Down World

US-El Salvador: Threats to Privatize Education Meet International Resistance

An excerpt:
"Though El Salvador’s national budget for education is dwarfed by that of United States, the investment in public education has been steadily increasing with the 2009 presidential victory of the leftist party, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which during the civil war fought against a repressive, US-backed government. With FMLN leaders at the helm of several key cabinets, including health and education, and a slight legislative advantage over the right-wing parties, social investment has increased significantly across the board. 

The national education budget has risen from $707 million in 2011 to nearly $828 million in 2012, with a proposed increase to $882 million for 2013. Union leaders like Manuel Mira emphasize the broader social and political impacts of this investment. “Education is a necessity for a country's growth and democracy. To be able to read and write gives a person the tools to be independent, to be able to be free,” he says. “A person can analyze the reality to be able to be an actor and not just a subject in the processes of change.”