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Restoring Spanish Education

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Restoring Spanish Education

  1. 1. Maider Pz. De Heredia Comparative Politics Restoring the Spanish Education Based on Brazil’s ExampleThe Spanish education requires a transformation in order to be trusted again. Theeducational system is the most powerful tool that a country may have and its stability andgood performance are the key for future development. Due the crisis, in Spanish, theeducation appears to have been stalled but there are many paths to follow to take it backon track. “The Alliance for Education” done by brazilians might be a useful example toSpain. Key words: Spain, education, stability, quality, Brazil, future, competitiveness, development, alliance, investment.Maider Pérez de Herediamaiderpzh@hotmail.comEmagazine: maiderpzhReport prepared for McKinsey&CompanyThis article presents one of the possible solutions to the crisis of Spanish education. As a highly relevantworldwide consultancy McKinsey & Company might observe the possibilities of the alternative proposedand may take it into consideration when advising various companies, institutions or governments.McKinsey&Company is more interested than ever in the issue of education as well shown in his lastwebsite cover. Therefore this prestigious consulting firm would be a potential and interested customer. 1
  2. 2. Maider Pz. De Heredia Comparative Politics30/11/12Maider Pérez de HerediaUniversidad Carlos III de MadridComparative PoliticsNIU: 100277503Doble Grado en CC.PP. y SociologíaGrupo 88Curso: 2012-2013Restoring the Spanish Education based on Brazil’s exampleThe stability and quality of education systems is one of the main focuses of anydemocratic country1. In the case of Spain, the educational area is surrounded by a thickmass of pessimism, so opaque that has led to a general skepticism about the future ofthe Spanish education. However, the situation is not insurmountable, but the initiativesthat are being taken by the current political class are hardly the most appropriate way tobelieve in the future of the Spanish education.Spain might find incredibly interesting the initiatives adopted by Brazil’s govermentand business class. This country was at the time in a similar situation as Spain, a deepeconomic, political and social crisis. This is the main reason why Spain should considerlooking up to Brazil. Throughout this essay I will explain the current situation of theSpanish education, the measures taken by Brazil and how those measures could beadaptable to the Spanish case in a period no longer than 10 years.The wreck of the Spanish educationAs presented in the PISA2 reports, in recent years Spain has established itself as acountry mired in education, whose position within the global scale is below the average.Besides the measures that have been taken by the current government have not improvethe situation. These are the main points of the adopted measures3 by the “PartidoPopular”4:Permanent measures:- The teacher substitutions for less than 10 days will be filled with resources of theschool itself.- Elimination of the obligation for the schools to submit at least two types of pre-collegestudies.Temporary measures:- Increase class sizes by 20% in primary and secondary education.1 STEE. (2012), “Education: the main priority”.2 PISA is an international study that was launched by the OECD in 1997. It aims to evaluate education systemsworldwide every three years by assessing 15-year-olds competencies in the key subjects: reading, mathematics andscience. To date over 70 countries and economies have participated in PISA.3 PP’s (People’s Party) official website. (2012) , “New measures for education inspired by Germany’s and France’sexample”; “ New measures in order to stop the educational failure”.4 Partido Popular “The People’s Party in English”: is a conservative political party in Spain. In the elections ofNovember 2011 the People’s Party won a majority with 186 seats in the Deputies and they control the currentgovernment. 2
  3. 3. Maider Pz. De Heredia Comparative Politics- Increase teachers teaching hours: 25 hours in kindergarden and elementary schoolsand 20 hours in the remainings.- Postponement of the implementation of the 2000 modules of training cycles forIntermediate and Advanced Level.- Eliminate the creation of new salary bonuses for teachers, but keep the existing ones.These measures not only prejudice students and teachers, but the entire society willsuffer the consequences. During the decade of the 90s Spain experienced a tremendousboom in education and research. Unfortunately, the current crisis has left educationheavily injured and is running with all that hard-won.Copying BrazilBrazil is the country where we will find more educational innovation potential over thenext ten years5. These forecasts are based positive because Brazil has created an alliancecalled "Education for All", which is an important development in Latin America6. It is apartnership led by entrepreneurs, with a lot of public sector involvement, which wasfounded on the idea that education is too important for the future of their country so thatit only deals with the government.Unlike what happens in the vast majority of Latin American and European countries,where the most relevant businessmen have each their own educational foundation, inBrazil the main magnates formed a coalition with a number of common objectives.This alliance was founded in 2007 by the presidents of various medium and largecompanies, the president of the multinational Gerdau Group7 and in collaboration withmajor banks. The coalition established five specific and measurable goals 8 to beachieved by 2022. The alliance also recruited the owners of the major media, academicsand artists to launch a campaign in order to convince the public and the governmentabout the need for a better education. Given the social pressure, the government of Lulada Silva took the five priorities of "Education for All".Thanks to this partnership new schools have been created, there are more and betterfacilities for parents, they offer more educational opportunities and more jobs forteachers who have come from all over the world due the initiative. But mainly, throughthis partnership is intended that all the children that go to school continue their studiesuntil age 16.5 Inamorato A. (2011), “Open Educational Resources in Brazil: State of the art, challenges and prospect fordevelopment and innovation”.6 International organizations and Latin-american Universities (2012), “Innovative Strategies for Higher Education inLatin America and Europe: International Collaboration and Regional Development”.7 Gerdau is the largest producer of long steel in America with steel mills all over Latin America. Currently, Gerdauhas an installed capacity of 26 million metric tons of steel per year and it offers steel for the civil construction,industry and agricultural sectors. It is Brazilian biggest multinational.8 Rodriguez A. and Dahlman C. (2007), “Knowledge and Innovation for Competitiveness in Brazil”; 247 p; ed, TheWorld Bank. 3
  4. 4. Maider Pz. De Heredia Comparative PoliticsAdapting Brazil to SpainAlthough it may seem utopian, the initiative taken by Brazil can be perfectly adapted tothe Spanish case. This is why is so interesting and it should definitely be something thatthe Spanish institutions ought to study. The problem of the case revolves around theorganization of a similar alliance, the control and structuring it. It is also important toconsider who might be involved in this partnership and what are the objectives to beachieved in the educational area.Undoubtedly the public sector and the private sector must work together on thisinitiative. On the one hand, the public sector would be responsible for the organizationand the more theoretical and structural part of the alliance, as the public sector has allthe purview in the educational area9. On the other hand, the private sector and thecompanies who want to collaborate, would adhere to the most pragmatic part of thealliance and would be in charge of its control.Refering to the public sector, in the case of Spain the best way to adapt an idea like thiswould be through the collaboration of the nineteen regions. This way the initiativewould stick to the needs of each region. Therefore, all the Spanish regions shouldcollaborate with the alliance as all of them would get profits out of it.Regarding to the private sector, Spanish banks would be the linchpin of the entirealliance as well as multinationals and companies envolved in the Ibex 3510 for instance.ConclusionThe creation of an educational alliance in Spain could immensely benefit not onlystudents, teachers, parents, educational institutions and society in general, but those whocollaborate in it would gain as many profits. On the one hand, they will be working formaintaining Spanish welfare state and Spain would re-experience a boom in educationand research. The long term benefits of this investment would be that Spain will get outof the crisis having created the most qualified young generation of its history.Furthermore, such an alliance would ensure that the poor image and lack of confidencein the business class and government disappears and would display the importance ofcitizens to the political class.Definitely, this alliance would bring back hope to the Spanish society and could help tostep out of the decadence and pessimism of the crisis. It would make people trust ineducation again and more importantly it would make people believe in their future.9 Education Ministry. (2012), “ Educational System Organization”.10 Ibex 35: Is the benchmark stock market index of the Bolsa de Madrid, Spains principal stock exchange.*Picture from the cover: Logo for “Alliance for education Brazil”. 4