THE DISSONANCE OF POLITICAL WILL AND THE RIGHT FOR COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL EDUCATION IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Gutekunst, Kristin Anne
In October 2006, Argentina passed Law 26150 declaring universal access to comprehensive sexual health education as a fundamental right for all Argentine students in public, private, and state-run schools in all provinces of Argentina. Law 26150 also justified and mandated the integration of the Programa Nacional de Educación Sexual Integral (ESI) into the Ministry of Education, and into all school curriculums within four years. Yet by August 2012, successful integration may have only been assimilated into 7,000 of more than 45,000 schools in Argentina. There are varying explanations that are unique to every school, such as the lack of infrastructure or implementation of resources in the education system, lack of incentive or capital for the instruction and provision of teachers who are both properly trained and pedagogically impartial, as well as numerous cultural conflicts arising from the community. Nonetheless, the design of the ESI policies lacked a definitive strategy for implementation such as clear targets, dates, among other monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. Moreover, the educational apparatus remained prearranged in such a way to reduce incentives and diminish the accountability of actors who lacked the competence to execute the ESI policy. Therefore, the burden of inadequate political support disproportionately befell educators as well as student stakeholders.This thesis examined the history of the Argentine education system and identified a series of political actors with multifarious interests involved in both the creation and failed application of the ESI policy. This then explored the possible incentives and agreements that may have affected the political will of actors involved in the implementation process. It was then postulated that the ESI policy failures were heavily influenced by the lack of political will or ability, and that other compounding variables such as the disinclined education institution itself, was fixed within the political stalemate of ineffectual leadership while ensnarled in the gridlock of national and municipal policies.
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