Two new studies confirm what we have long suspected: Latin American companies cannot effectively compete in the world economy because their countries' educational systems are totally disconnected from reality.
The Global Information Technology Report 2012, a 442-page report by the
The index takes into account various measurements, including internet use and people's ability to use it productively, from international organizations and a survey of more than 15,000 executives worldwide.
According to the report,
The network readiness ranking of 142 countries is led by
A separate ranking of people's skills in 142 countries included in the World Economic Forum Report shows that
Interestingly, other surveys show that Latin American business people complain not only about their young people's academic standards, but also about their lack of basic social skills to function in the business world, such as courtesy, commitment, team work and punctuality.
A new book by the
Latin American high-schools are totally disconnected from the business world, the study says. "There is an urgent need not only to address the problem of the quality of education, but also of its relevancy to facilitate young people's transition into the business world," the study says.
My Opinion: There are many reasons why Latin American countries are lagging behind
But the two new studies make a good point in stressing the need for a better connection between educational systems and the needs of the business world.
It's time for governments to try to reduce the huge youth unemployment rates by asking employers what skills they are looking for, and to make some room in their educational systems for such requirements.
And it's also time for private companies to become more active in improving their countries' education standards, rather than just complaining about them. They can team up to create powerful pro-education civic groups -- such as
A greater public-private partnership in education would help Latin American countries become more competitive, grow faster, and reduce poverty more effectively.
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