-OpEd-

BUENOS AIRES — In recent decades, people have come around to the idea, fortunately, that education is a complex process in need of revision. No longer is the focus just on books and exercises. There's also a growing emphasis on training innovative citizens.

The technological revolution has made it possible for anyone with a basic cellphone to access an unprecedented volume of information. In Argentina, creativity, resilience and values are the cornerstones of a new paradigm we are applying in the VanEduc teaching system (SPV), for which we have won the backing of UNESCO, the UN agency and global leader in guiding and reflecting on the most advanced teaching systems.

Responsible parenthood is what ensures that a child will progress.

We're convinced that the preparation of global citizens and creative individuals who can supersede machines with their art must inevitably involve multidisciplinary training. That includes sexual education. Interestingly, a study by the World Confederation of Education and Interamerican Open University in Argentina revealed that 85% of parents of public and private schoolchildren in greater Buenos Aires see sexual education at school as positive.

"There's also a growing emphasis on training innovative citizens" Photo: Banter Snaps

It is vital to include Integral Sexual Education at all three levels of schooling — introductory, primary and secondary. In fact, any educational program that doesn't include it is simply deficient. Another encouraging indicator from the study relates to family communication. Approximately 82% of parents say they speak to their children about sexuality, and 76% say they taught their children about contraceptive methods.

Parents must also be prepared when it comes to communicating with their children in general. Their role is decisive in their children's lives and lays the foundation for subsequent possibilities and growth. Responsible parenthood is what ensures that a child will progress at school and university, and in society in general, and find in each area the ability to fulfill his or her potential.

Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway or Denmark apply a method we replicate with the SPV system and is aimed at building a consistent bridge between the school and family. It proposes a space for reflecting on the importance of family education.

Argentines have some way to go in bettering their education, but we are following along the same path as other parts of the world. We need more discussion and action. Above all, we need to continue working with the mindset that while there are still people in this world who lack access to quality education — and the assurances it provides in terms of basic human dignity — our task is incomplete.


*The author is president of the World Confederation of Education and rector emeritus of the Interamerican Open University.


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