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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06LAPAZ1711
2006-06-23 21:11:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy La Paz
Cable title:  

GOB VOWS TO "DECOLONIZE" EDUCATION, THREATENING ACS

Tags:   ASCH  APER  AMGT  PGOV  SOCI  BL 
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VZCZCXYZ0039
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #1711 1742111
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 232111Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9731
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5955
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3272
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7119
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4379
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1663
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1664
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1740
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 3877
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4297
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 8850
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
						UNCLAS LA PAZ 001711 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR A/OPR/OS/CS BSCOTTI AND WHA/AND LPETRONI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASCH APER AMGT PGOV SOCI BL
SUBJECT: GOB VOWS TO "DECOLONIZE" EDUCATION, THREATENING ACS


UNCLAS LA PAZ 001711

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR A/OPR/OS/CS BSCOTTI AND WHA/AND LPETRONI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASCH APER AMGT PGOV SOCI BL
SUBJECT: GOB VOWS TO "DECOLONIZE" EDUCATION, THREATENING ACS



1. (SBU) Summary: After weeks of rumors concerning
educational reform, Bolivia's education minister announced
June 22 that the GOB planned to "decolonize" education to
make all schools, public and private, equal. He declared the
American Cooperative School part of a system that caters to a
fortunate few and said it (or at least its privileged
curriculum) would disappear. The minister indicated that the
GOB would seek consensus before initiating change, but many
worried that the government's plans could threaten the future
of private education. End summary.


2. (U) After weeks of rumors concerning educational reform,
Education Minister Felix Patzi announced in a June 22
interview with leading daily La Razon that the GOB planned to
"decolonize" education to make all schools, public and
private, rural or urban, equal. He explained that the GOB
sought to "eliminate the privileges of the dominant caste and
provide the same opportunities to all," arguing that
education should be available without regard for class,
ethnicity, or race.


3. (U) Patzi declared Calvert (also known as the American
Cooperative School, or ACS) part of a system that caters to a
fortunate few and said it (or at least its privileged
curriculum) would disappear. He stopped short of saying the
GOB would prohibit private education but said all schools
should have the same curriculum. Patzi focused on social and
natural sciences, which he said should emphasize "indigenous
civilization" instead of the more traditional history of
Bolivia's presidents and ensure children were familiar with
natural resources so they could "defend and know that they
have forests, wood, gas, and rivers." According to the
minister, revised histories of "the indigenous and the
conquest" would reflect Bolivia's "national reality" and
transform children's way of looking at the world.


4. (U) The minister indicated that the GOB would seek
consensus before initiating change, explaining that the
government was considering establishing an advisory council
at the departmental level or organizing regional committees
in the western altiplano, the central valleys, and the
eastern lowlands. Patzi also said he expected strong debate
in Congress and the Constituent Assembly, admitting that the
GOB had considered the form but not the content of the
proposed changes.


5. (SBU) Comment: The GOB's proposal is vague and still in
preliminary stages, but the announcement worried Bolivians
and Americans alike, as many felt the government's plans
could threaten the future of private education. Embassy
contacts in Santa Cruz are particularly concerned about the
fate of their children's private religious schooling. The
Embassy is coordinating with the British and German
international schools and will monitor this matter closely.
End comment.
GREENLEE