Giving Compass' Take: 

• Latin America faces challenges in education and students don't receive the skills needed for obtaining a job in the future. 

What resources are necessary to allow school systems to focus on job skill training? 

The 2018 World Economic Forum on Latin America highlights the future of work in Latin America and outlines similar challenges that are discussed in this article. 

Over the past decade, Latin America has seen significant growth of its scores on international student assessments.  But, despite these successes, Latin America still struggles to prepare its young people for work and life. Countries in the region continue to underperform when compared to nations with similar levels of GDP and education spending.

The region’s learning challenges are compounded by the rapid pace of social and technological change transforming work across the globe.  Employers are increasingly unable to find workers with the diverse cognitive, social, and emotional skills they need to complement an ever-automating workforce.

Already, research in Latin America reveals that over 40 percent of Latin American youth feel they lack the skills necessary to thrive in their current positions.

Even if Latin America manages to close the academic achievement gaps of today, students will still not have the broad range of skills needed for work and life in the coming decades.

However, at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, we have spent the past two years exploring how practitioners might leverage education innovations around the world to “leapfrog” education—that is, rapidly accelerating educational progress to ensure all learners have the skills they need to thrive.

Hearteningly, over half of all Latin American innovations have the explicit goal of improving learning for marginalized communities, including low-income learners, out-of-school children, and students with disabilities. We are happy to see that, of these innovations targeting marginalized learners, many are far along our leapfrog pathway—and thus hold great promise for accelerating educational progress.

Read the full article about leapfrogging Latin America's educational progress by Rebecca Winthrop and Adam Barton at Brookings.