Stonecroft Ministries Guatemala Child Sponsorship Program
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Stonecroft Guatemala Child Sponsorship Program - EDUCATION

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The education system of Guatemala is fighting with a lot of problems that are stretching to the whole range of educational courses available. Nursery schools that are used as preparation for the elementary school, elementary schools, schools for professional training as well as universities suffer -as long as they are in the hands of the state- from severe lack of money, less qualified teachers and inadequate and bad equipped training rooms. Private schools that are providing the same educational offers like state schools do not know these problems, but only the better-off middle and upper class that are only accounting for a very small part of the population are privileged to enter these schools.

The lack of money is the biggest problem

Schools that are lead by cooperative and not-for-profit organisations, especially institutions for professional training, as well suffer from extreme lack of money and demand a high potential of idealism from their teachers, considering the fact that often only a low or no salary is paid.

Mainly the indigenous population is affected by the chronic under financing of the education system due to the fact that often they cannot afford any visits to qualified private schools and the necessary reformation of the system that would consider the language and distinctive culture of the indigenous cannot be financed at the moment.

Discrimination of the indigenous by the current education system

Of course, the lack of money is not the only problem that is provoking the terrible situation in the education sector. Apart from the missing intention of the government to reform and the bad training of teachers, the continuing discrimination of the indigenous population is another factor for the situation mentioned above. A lot of the indigenous parents do not see any reason in the educational training of their children, because the curriculum does not include lessons in the Mayan language or in their culture and history. Therefore, they often do not take them to school, especially during the period of harvest. High rates of drop-outs, non-moving-ups and low figures in elementary qualifications are the result of this fact.

At the moment, preventive measures like scholarships, school dinner and shortening school grants are not financed.

Besides the improvement of the educational infrastructure, an adaptation of the content of the curriculum to the needs of the population in Guatemala as well as the improvement of the professional training of teachers urgently is necessary to achieve a long-term change in the education sector of Guatemala. At the moment, it is possible to become a teacher right after passing the final exams of 2nd secondary education.

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