By André Sequeira Gámez - International Relations Student
The entry of Costa Rica to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) gave a lot to talk about, both internationally and nationally, people questioned what a country like this was going to do in an organization where most of its members are developed countries with large economies and systems that are not comparable to those of Costa Rica. And it was actually a long road to finally enter the organization. So, given the circumstances, this article addresses topics regarding the process that the country went through regarding this membership, and how this can be an indicator for the development of the country, and the improvement of its services, and, in this case, the opportunity to improve education.
To enter the OECD, Costa Rica had to comply with 22 requirements (committees) imposed by the organization and a study to evaluate its position with respect to the objectives proposed by them, as well as follow a roadmap that includes strengthened Global Value Chains (GVC’s), developed labor skills, research, development and applied innovation, logistics processes and modern infrastructure, among others. After examining them, Costa Rica was accepted as a new member in 2020. This represents a great challenge, since keeping pace with developed countries is not easy, especially knowing that unfortunately there has been an increase in social inequality in the country.
Being part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development means for the country the participation in different committees to decide on equal terms in the development of innovative solutions to common challenges (Presidencia de Costa Rica, 2020). Therefore, this means an opportunity to improve in different areas, politically, socially and economically. The country's development can also be affected in a positive way, since the areas of improvement are reflected in the organization's reports, and in this way it can work to achieve those objectives and benchmark other OEDC countries, such as in education.
Improving Costa Rican education is key to reducing inequality and development gaps in the national territory. At the moment, Costa Rica does not reach the standards of other OECD member countries, making it clear how important and useful it is to be a member of the organization, in order to try to reduce the inequality present in the country. As previously mentioned, belonging to this organization gives the opportunity to analyze and copy methods for the improvement of education, using countries such as Finland or Chile itself which is from the same Latin American region, since these are the countries with the best results in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests in their respective region. (OECD, 2018). Costa Rica has invested a lot in education, but this does not mean that the lag is zero, definitely universal education is an achievement to applaud the country, but it has many shortcomings in terms of responsibilities to the student body, mainly in teaching methods, access to resources and infrastructure. Therefore, we need to find solutions and programs that can be applied to the national reality, in order to provide people with the best quality of education.
After presenting all the statements, we can conclude that joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is mostly a positive experience for the country, despite the results provided in the general reports of the organization, but this means that it can be observed from an impartial perspective of the reality of the country, and thus know what the main problems are and attack them with programs and suggestions from other members of the organization. Similarly, with respect to education, I believe that the opportunity to benchmark the leading countries in the field is very good one, in addition to engaging in conversations and alliances as a more feasible option, so that in this way it is possible to considerably reduce the inequality gap currently present in Costa Rican society.
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OCDE. (2018). Análisis de la OCDE acerca de las políticas nacionales para educación. http://www.oecd.org/education/school/La-Educacion-en-CostaRica-Resumen-Ejecutivo.pdf
Presidencia de Costa Rica. (2020, May 15). Ingreso de nuestro país a la OCDE es un hito en la historia de Costa Rica. Presidencia de La República de Costa Rica. https://www.presidencia.go.cr/comunicados/2020/05/ingreso-de-nuestro-pais-a-la-ocde-esun-hito-en-la-historia-de-costa-rica/