State and Non-state Actors in Current Secondary Education Policy in Uruguay: A Complex Configuration

Research Project (to be discussed at the Winter Academy) by Cecilia Pereda.

Cecilia Pereda is a doctoral student in the social sciences postgraduate program of the General Sarmiento National University (UNGS) and the Social and Economical Development Institute (IDES), Argentina. She has been working and researching on education topics for fifteen years in state, non-state and international programs.

Since the last decade of the 20th century in many Latin American countries the role of non-state actors in the educational sector has been strengthened, while national education systems have been devaluated within a state and economic crisis context. The devaluation of public education has also occurred in Uruguay but it cannot be attributed to the former situation. State centrality in the educational sector continued in the first decade of the 21st century and, at the same time, there were calls for non-profit actors to co-develop some formal education programs with the aim that adolescents go back to school. These kinds of state programs are not only managed by social organizations and ocated in non-state buildings, but they are also developed by state teachers and pedagogical supervisors. Called communitarian, such programs are involved in local relationships among state and non-state social and educational actors. This project suggests that these local relationships reinforce education and welfare programs by adjusting them to local needs and provide teachers with social knowledge to work with adolescents living in worst life conditions. As a consequence, the complex configuration of actors, actions, logics and scenes present in these local relationships and promoted by such state education programs called communitarian cannot be considered as a simple trend of privatization. A better understanding of the communitarian sphere in educational and social-public policies is needed.


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