Panama: Higher Education is Key
Altbach, Philip G.
Svenson, Nanette Archer
MetadataShow full item record
ecause of its unique geographical position, Panama has always been an important regional and global cross roads, with the Panama Canal offering perceptible evidence of this. Built over a century ago, the waterway is critical to global commerce and the national economy. International finance, transport and logistics, and tourism and other services comprise over three-quarters of the gross domes tic product (GDP) and besides their reliance on geogra phy, these economic drivers have something else in com mon: they require a highly educated workforce. Ironically, Panama has one of the weakest education systems in the region. Worse still, the country is doing relatively little to remedy this situation and lacks a collective sense of how central brainpower is for the nation’s future. This compla cency may be due to its noteworthy performance over the past decade; economic growth has averaged over 7 percent annually and infrastructural developments in and around Panama City have been impressive. This success is prob ably unsustainable, however.