4: Deconcentration of Education in Honduras: Restriction and Ritualization of a Chimeric Reform

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This chapter analyses governance changes in the Honduran education system during the 1990s, while also closely examining the global discourses that oriented the content and local agendas of the educational reforms in this period. In so doing, it addresses the complexity of the global-local interface by: (a) analysing the economic conditions under which educational reforms were prompted in the period; and (b) paying special attention to how the recontextualization of such reforms gave rise to singular, highly idiosyncratic enactments of global education policy prescriptions. Taking as a starting point the economic circumstances of the Structural Adjustment Program, the chapter analyses the role of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the production of a new, neoliberal economic order in the country, and shows how this order provided the basis for the educational reforms that were subsequently promoted. In this regard, it focuses on the flagship policy of educational decentralization and analyses how recontextualization gave way to a mild form of decentralization – that is, deconcentration – that was integral to maintaining centralized control of education.

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