The Politics of Nonformal Education in Latin America

By Carlos Alberto Torres | Go to book overview

political, economic, and social returns, and if there are, how to estimate their magnitude or diversity. However, a more comprehensive debate should take place regarding what, if any, alternative strategies and models of adult education can be initiated in dependent-development capitalist countries, given the new economic and social conditions of the 1980s: political redemocratization in the midst of economic recession, growing external debt, and increasing poverty of the masses.


NOTES

An abbreviated version of this chapter was published in mimeographed form as "La educación de adultos en México, 1976-1981" ( Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales [FLACSO], December 1984). My analysis of adult education policies in Mexico is further developed in Chapter 5 of Morales-Gómez and Torres ( 1990). I would like to thank José Angel Pescador and Alberto Arnaut Salgado for useful comments on preliminary versions of this chapter. As usual, the author alone is responsible for the opinions expressed and not the institution that supported the research.

1.
In 1975 the Ley Nacional de Educación para Adultos was passed, which gave rise in 1976 to the setting up and initial opeation of SNEA under what was then the Subdirección del Sistema Abierto. From this followed a great number of institutional transformations in the educational agencies of the public sector responsible for nonformal education. In 1977 the Coordinación de los Servicios Educativos para las Zonas Deprimidas y Grupos Marginados was created; under it were, among others, the Dirección General de Alfabetización y Educación de Adultos (DGAEA) and the Coordinación Nacional de Sistemas Abiertos, both of which were under the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP). In 1978 the Coordinación General del Plan para Zonas Deprimidas y Grapos Marginados (COPLAMAR) was created responsible directly to the president of the republic; it ceased to exist at the end of the 1970s. In February 1978 the Coordinación Nacional de Sistemas Abiertos disappeared from the domain of the SEP and the Dirección General de Educación a Grupos Marginados (DGEGM) was created. In September of that year the majority of the services under the responsibility of the DGAEA and the DGEGM were combined, giving rise to the Dirección General de Educación para Adultos (DGEA), responsible initially to the Subsecretaría de Planeación and, beginning in 1980, to the Subsecretaría de Cultura y Recreación. In April 1981 PRONALF was created, and in September 1981, INEA, which incorporated PRONALF under the Dirección General de Alfabetización, as well as the majority of the services under DGEA ( C. Torres, 1984a; Rubio, 1983).
2.
For more documentation on SNEA, see Sirvent and Vergara ( 1983); Cuéllar ( 1981); and Morales-Gómez and Torres ( 1990).
3.
Population ten years or older. Data from the Dirección de Estadísticas, IX censo general de población 1970, abbreviated summary ( Mexico, DF, 1972).
4.
The total cost of PRONALF was set at 2,676,100 million pesos (approximately $55 million). For 1981, it was planned to make literate one million people. Subsequently, serious difficulties in the implementation and operation of PRONALF forced the selection of new and more moderate goals for the program. It is interesting to note that origi

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