Higher Education in Central America

Obama Seeks to Bolster Education in Central America and the Caribbean

obama-ylai-5-1074x483At the summit, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it will invest $35 million “in a new higher education program designed to strengthen the capacity of technical training institutions in the region to provide market-relevant training for disadvantaged populations in Central America and the Caribbean.” The April 10 announcement is part of the Obama administration’s overall effort to improve higher education and technical training across these regions.

While disparities in wealth, income and political power have come to threaten the foundations of American democracy and capitalism over the past three decades, they have continued to constrain socioeconomic development across Central America and the Caribbean long after nations in these regions gained their independence. Unemployment levels remain high and access to high-quality higher education and technical training low. Populations in these countries continue to swell, posing growing threats to social and ecological health and sustainability.

Providing broad-based access to affordable, quality higher education and technical training remains a glaring socioeconomic need, and that’s precisely what the Obama administration, through the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative and USAID’s new higher education investment program, aims to help address.

Addressing a glaring socioeconomic need

“Fifty-eight percent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is under 35. Despite important economic gains over the last decade, significant challenges – including limited access to jobs, capital and advanced educational opportunities, and the availability of illicit employment opportunities – hold many youth back from reaching their full potential, ” the White House highlighted in its Seventh Summit of the Americas’ Fact Sheet.


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