Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mayan families video

Current education in Guatemala

Currently, the Guatemala's educational system is divided into three levels:
primary school (elementary) 
secondary school (high school) 
university (college)  
  • The government provides free, public education from the ages of 7-14 or through sixth grade. 
  • Many of these public schools are located in rural areas.
  •  Lots of private, religious schools have been established.

Deficient Funding

Because there is not enough funding, schools lack in solid infrastructure, technology, and curriculum.

  • Schools are in bad conditions creating a difficult learning environment
    • Funding could allow for nicer buildings, provided food and therefore a more comfortable environment for children to grow up and learn in
  • There is little educational technology
    • Little access to computer
    • The most prestigious university in Guatemala, University of San Carlos, just recently developed a website and provided internet access for all students. (see website here: http://www.usac.edu.gt/ ) 
  • The goal of the education system is to create a globalized curriculum, educating students on social issues and encouraging them to find solutions.
Because many citizens do not pay their taxes, the government in lacking money. Also, due to corruption, money does not always go where it is supposed to. This means that schools are lacking in funding. Without funding, they cannot improve their infrastructure, develop technology or advance their curriculum.

Discrimination against the indigenous people

Guatemala has a very diverse population, with a plethora of languages spoken.

  • Only 60% of the population if fluent in spanish
  •  There are over 20 Mayan languages that are spoken
  •  These language barriers create problems in school, where many students have problems because they do not all speak the same language
  •  Another problem facing the Guatemalan education system is the discrimination of the indigenous people. T
  • he literacy rate for indigenous people is 18-19% lower than the literacy rate for foreigners, and there is no available bilingual or ESL education programs for students. 

Lack of qualified teachers

Teachers in Guatemala are underqualified, and unreliable.

  • Many teachers only have a high school diploma 
  • No training program, or supervisor's for teachers don't know how to teach reading and writing 
  • Many are not getting regularly paid, they don't have an incentive to come every day.

Solution: letter to a foundation

To help solve this problem, we wrote a letter to a foundation describing the issue, and what we plan to do about it. To read our letter, see our "Solution: letter to a foundation" page located on the right side of our blog.