Barañao: "Knowledge is key for development"
Minister Lino Barañao discoursed on the role of education in the economy of the 21st century.
Minister Lino Barañao participated in the Argentina Business & Investment Forum
Lino Barañao, the head of the portfolio of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation, participated in the conference "La construcción del Capital Humano para el futuro (Construction of Human Capital for the future)," in the framework of the Argentina Business & Investment Forum (FINA), which took place at Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK). Esteban Bullrich, the Minister of Education and Sports, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a professor at Harvard Business School, Carolina Florez, the Vice-President of Oracle Latin America, and Marcos Galperín, the CEO of Mercado Libre, also participated in the plenary meeting.
“Our mission is to cooperate in order to make the country evolve into an economy based on knowledge, just as developed countries do. These countries have a higher GDP per capita and also know how to distribute it appropriately," stressed Barañao at the beginning of his speech.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation (MINCYT) works tirelessly to encourage the election of scientific and technological vocations, which have a historically very low index of graduated students despite the high demand in the labor market. This tendency, however, is slowly beginning to change. In order to achieve this goal, spaces and activities with playful proposals are being offered, so that the youth, motivated by curiosity, enjoy the process of learning.
“We aim at making students who graduate from public universities gain the non-economic, but ethical commitment of wanting to –somehow– return the investment that was made for their training to society," stated Barañao. In this sense, the Minister mentioned the spaces that the MINCYT updates every year at Tecnópolis, where university students who study paleontology, mathematics, physics, geology, chemistry, oceanography and biology share their passion for getting to know the world that surrounds us with other people.
At the same time, Barañao mentioned experiences gained in the United States, which favored registration in certain disciplines through advertisements and TV programs. Thus, the open and digital TV channel Tectv serves as another example of training duties promoted by the portfolio of Science. This channel broadcasts contents related to all branches of knowledge and, last July, it received the FundTV award in the Education category for the best production for the program "A hombros de gigantes."
In line with the objective of raising the education quality, Barañao made reference to Program.AR, an initiative which is backed with technical assistance provided by the International Institute for Education Planning of UNESCO (IIPE – UNESCO) and defends the inclusion of Computing Sciences in the pedagogical program. Said initiative considers that learning how to program enhances important thinking abilities, such as the capacity for abstraction, planning and solving problems, and team work.
Lastly, the head of Science emphasized that, in the future, computers will replace people in many duties normally performed by the latter, except for those which call for major creativity. Therefore, he set forth: “the need for next university graduates to look for jobs as well as create jobs." "We have participated in the creation of 85 start-ups, which receive public financing due to the fact that, in Argentina, an investment market that bets on research and development has not been created yet. Nonetheless, human capital is present. What we need now is to provide the opportunities to guarantee its growth,” he concluded.