Blog > Closing the Gaps Between Rural and Urban Education

Closing the Gaps Between Rural and Urban Education

CRECE begins the mid-term evaluation of the “Education for Competitiveness” Program. The great challenge of the Program: close the gaps between rural and urban education.


At CRECE we have had the opportunity to systematize and evaluate different educational initiatives developed both in Caldas and in the rest of the country. In particular, we have accumulated significant experience in the evaluation of rural education projects and programs in the department, carried out through the public-private partnership between the Government of Caldas, the Coffee Growers Committee and, more recently, the Central Hydroelectric of Caldas, CHEC. This Alliance has made it possible to strengthen the Escuela Nueva model at the different educational levels and expand it to higher education, in an intervention that combines objectives linked to the coverage, quality and relevance of the training offer.

Education benefits everyone. Credit: Manon Koningstein
Our trajectory and lessons learned in monitoring this policy allow us to have conceptual and methodological tools focused on the key dimensions and variables that intervene in the transformation of the educational field, in particular those related to the management processes of the policy, school factors and contextual factors that affect its application and the changes and strategies deployed in the individual, family and community spheres. In this way, the perspectives of analysis that we use are nourished by interdisciplinarity and the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in order to explain in a comprehensive way the processes evaluated at the macro, meso and micro levels.

We are currently in the initial phase of the Intermediate Evaluation of the Education for Competitiveness Program, contracted by the Coffee Growers Committee of Caldas. In 2014 we also carried out the baseline of the intervention. This Program has three components: i) Education for work through the projects Secondary Education with Deepening for Work, Evaluation and certification of labor skills and Entrepreneurship; ii) Access to higher education based on the policy of articulation with secondary education through the expansion of the University in the Country project and the Entrepreneurship project; and iii) Labor Connection, through the Labor Insertion and Rural Microentrepreneurs projects.


The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the results achieved by the intervention around the conditions of educability and labor insertion of the rural population of Caldas, specifically of the graduates. Some of the biggest challenges in this regard are related to the identification of changes related to: the possibilities for generational splicing; the capacities of rural youth for their productive insertion, either through their own businesses or employment in companies associated with the rural sector; and the generation of new family and community dynamics based on the empowerment of young people.


This evaluation is of enormous relevance to deepen the knowledge of the type of institutional designs required to overcome the traditional gaps observed between rural and urban areas in the main educational indicators. We also hope to contribute to the analysis of the trajectories built by the graduates and their relationship with the educational experience obtained, facilitating the understanding of the limitations, successes and challenges of the current rural educational offer of the department in the face of the needs and expectations of the young people of the department. countryside. We are especially interested in producing pertinent information for decision-making by the actors involved in the design and execution of the policy, in order to advance in the qualification of rural educational offer and in the construction of a long-term project under a territorial approach; aspect in which Caldas is positioned as a benchmark in the national and international context.



Carolina Villada Narvaez.

CRECE Consultant.