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  • Author: Matthew Sundquist
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A Fulbright Scholar discovers the pathologies and injustices of a higher education system once considered the "jewel of the Americas." The story goes that Domingo Faustino Sarmiento was born under a tree in San Juan, a province in western Argentina. I passed that tree every day on my way to teach at the Faculty of Philosophy, Humanities and Arts at the Universidad Nacional de San Juan (UNSJ), as a newly minted Fulbright Scholar in early 2010. I couldn't help thinking that I was also following the path that Sarmiento took in 1869, when he brought 65 English teachers to Argentina from Boston. An early advocate of universal education, Sarmiento helped establish Argentina's national education system when he was minister of religion, justice and public instruction. Later, as governor of San Juan, Sarmiento passed laws mandating primary education and lobbied for tuition-free public primary schools. Then, as president (1868–1874), he established 800 schools and oversaw a quadrupling of educational funding to provinces.
  • Topic: Education, Religion
  • Political Geography: Argentina