Puerto Rico and other U.S. dependencies are all eligible for associate membership in UNESCO and other United Nations specialized agencies, according to an expert study of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC/CEPAL).
The United Nations Education, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is helping Puerto Rico produce standardized statistics on education funding and spending that can be compares to other jurisdictions and countries.
UNESCO personnel are in Puerto Rico this week rendering technical assistance in an effort headed by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics. The UNESCO officials are Juan Cruz Perusia, regional adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean with the agency’s Statistics Institute, and Héctor Alejandro Vera, a specialist with the program.
Work meetings are taking place all week at the State Department headquarters in Old San Juan.
“We welcome our colleagues from UNESCO and appreciate their time and dedication for this government effort that give us a vital and reliable to establish public policies on education funding and allow us to compare Puerto Rico with other places in terms of this important issue,” said Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics Executive Director Mario Marazzi.
The goal of Marazzi’s government agency is to assure that Puerto Rico’s numbers are complete and include UN databases.
UNESCO previously provided technical assistance to Puerto Rico in 2010 to establish basic education data including school and post-secondary enrollment. That work can bee seen on the UNESCO Statistics Institute’s website at www.uis.unesco.org.
“We had decided to postpone the statistics on funding and spending for a future visit because the methodology to create them is significantly more complex,” Marazzi said. “But we can’t wait anymore. If Puerto Rico continues without statistics to compare how much we invest compared with other countries we will be flying blind when trying to map our education system.”