Education in BoliviaEducation in Bolivia

Education in Bolivia

As for the health sector, problems of education are to be considered according to the rural or urban area. The national analphabetism is higher than 13%, one of the most important average in Latin America. This number reaches until 25% in rural areas. In the campaigns, the studies duration is about 4.2 years, in opposite with 9.4 in cities.

These difficulties often come from the fact that farmers’ families need the kids to help in order to live and to send the beasts eat in the fields when the parents work in the city or at home, to participate to harvest etc…, which causes an absenteeism rate at school that is quite significant.

The other difficulties for these families are the language and culture barrier. Often, teachers working in rural areas do not speak the children’s language, which makes the apprenticeship of Spanish quite difficult before to enter to the profound teaching and the cultural misunderstandings highly limit the chances to integrate institutions of secondary or advanced education.

Moreover, the teachers’ training levels are often very poor, good or old teachers mainly won the right to stay in the city.

Girls are, for the majority, the most underprivileged. If a family does not have the sufficient money to send all the children to school, the education for sons is privileged before girls. Women analphabetism is, on national average, at 18.4% (remember the national average of 13 %...).

Essentially, most of children end the primary school, but rarely the secondary and young girls are regularly in a disabling situation such as getting pregnant very early because of a real lack of education and access to sexual health. With a child when you are 17 years old, there are few chances to achieve the secondary level.

There have been several and regular attempts to modify the educative system during these last ten years. The arrival to power of Evo Morales marked new priorities in these attempts to reform. It is necessary to decentralize control on educative institutions in order to give to every region the possibility to manage both style and content of the education, establish a bilingual and intercultural teaching (privilege teachers coming from indigenous peoples) and improve the teacher’s training course.

But the political instability, social contestations and above all the resistance of the Teachers’ Union make the changes long and difficult, perhaps inconsistent. Especially when the government budget dedicated to education, 10% today, should be substantially increased in order to execute the reform. Nevertheless, it seems that political commitment still misses a little bit to achieve the objectives.

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