Education International
Education International

Argentina: making quality early childhood education for all a priority

published 3 September 2015 updated 4 September 2015

The Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de la República Argentina has criticised a bill adopted by the country’s Chamber of Deputies that it says undermines the social right to early education of all children.

The Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de la República Argentin a (CTERA), affiliated to Education International (EI), deplores that this bill adopted on 26 August by the family and budget committees of the Argentinian Chamber of Deputies proposes a new federal policy for early childhood care mentioning “care” and not “education”.

From its Article 2 on, this bill incorporates the perspective of the “labour market” and talks about the idea of ??“service delivery”, while the CTERA supports the idea of ??a right to education.

An “aggravating factor” for the education union is that it is planned to submit this “service” to the international criteria of provision.

The draft law sets up the Federal Policy on Early Childhood Care, disjointed from early education, the CTERA insists, further regretting that the bill considers children as care subjects and do not take the right to education into consideration: it speaks of socialisation, but not of education. The teachers’ participation and pedagogical supervision in care centres is furthermore a topic undressed in the bill.

The CTERA underlines that it is worth comparing the latter with the Law on National Education, where social management areas of child development centres are acknowledged, both generally and specifically in terms of early childhood education.

According to the CTERA, if this project succeeds, education at an early age would remain designed by two policy-making bodies, often unconnected: the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education.

Also, in the Article 5, the door remains opened to the companies and employers’ participation in designing the “politics of care”, the trade union deplores. The bill also deals with “decentralisation” and “quality standards promoting homogenization”.

The training of caregivers, not of educators, is mentioned in the bill, the CTERA also notes. The bill emphasises the professionalism of people in charge “through the regulation of the labour market and the extension of the supply of quality jobs”, and speaks of “care workers”, and not of education workers.

This bill, the CTERA summarises, takes the early education out of the Ministry of Education by creating a different system, which “would imply a setback in progress made in recent years with the National Education Law and the Law no 27064”.