Education in Bolivia

Contents:

  1. Key Country Statistics
  2. Structure of the Educational System
  3. Major Government and International Actors within the Educational System
  4. NGO Projects Supporting the Educational System

Accurate as of March 2013; unless stated otherwise, the websites are all in English. Acknowledgement: Linda Schayman Pino.

 

NEWS ***  We are now working on a very exciting new project to support schools and education NGOs in Bolivia and around the world, first by giving them free exposure on our website (over 100,000 hits in the last two years). If you know any such schools/NGOs and would like to support them, please introduce them to us by writing to info@nuhafoundation.org. ***

 

Key Country Statistics

Key statistics for Bolivia relevant to education are as follows:

  • Population: 10.4 million
  • Age structure: 0-14 years = 34.2% of the total population; 15-24 years = 20.1% of the total population
  • Median age: 22.8 years (average men and women)
  • Urbanisation: 67%
  • Education expenditure: 6.3% of GDP (2006)
  • Literacy (understood as age 15 and over can read): 86.7% (breakdown: male 93.1% and female 80.7% according to 2001 census)
  • School life expectancy total = 14 years (primary to tertiary education)
  • GDP growth forecast: 5% (2012)
  • Official national languages: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara

Sources: country census, Bolivia.gov.bo [Spanish] and CIA World Factbook.

For complementary data…

World Data on Education [Spanish]: Country profile on education made available through the database of the International Bureau of Education. This is the seventh and most recent edition of the profile, which provides a national report on the development of education as of April 2010.

Index Mundi: Information on literacy rates and charts for Bolivia, which has data as of 26 July 2012.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics: For comparisons of Bolivia’s profile on education, literacy and science and technology with other country and regional profiles – as of December 2010.

Structure of the Educational System

Similar to other education systems, Bolivia’s National Education System is composed of a formal and a non-formal sector. Formal education is organized in four cycles: initial or pre-primary, primary, secondary, and higher education.

  • The initial cycle is divided in two sub-cycles: the first cycle refers to pre-school education up to children of 4 years of age, is non-formal and not mandatory. It refers to childcare institutions as crèches and communitarian care facilities. The second cycle is for children of 4 to 6 years of age and compulsory by law.
  • Primary education in Bolivia is compulsory and starts at the age of 6 and lasts eight years. It has two cycles: the basic vocational cycle lasting five years, and advanced vocational cycle lasting three years.
  • Secondary education is offered to students of 14 to 18 years of age. Divided in two sub-cycles, students can either follow the basic technical degree, preparing apprenticeship for technical work (Bachillerato de técnico básico); or the general education degree (Bachillerato en Humanidades), preparing students for the entrance to university according to the subject of choice: Science, Literature or Biology.
  • Higher education in Bolivia allows students having approved the Aptitude Entrance Exam (Prueba de Suficiencia Académica) to freely enroll at any state public university and in any subject they wish. In general, there are three types of higher education in Bolivia: Higher technician (Técnico superior o avanzado), Undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s degree (Licenciatura), and Post-graduate studies (Maestría y Doctorado)

Of note, for the period 2010-2014, Bolivia’s Ministry of Education and Cultures (see below) intended to reflect the adoption of the “Bolivia moves forward” (Bolivia Avanza) principles on education: broader access to public education in rural Bolivia, the development of a new regional targeted learning strategies, and the promotion of a “new revolutionary, productive, communitarian, decolonized” vision of education in Bolivia.

Sources: World Data for Education [Spanish]; Organizacion de Estados Iberoamericanos [Spanish]; World BankBolivian Ministry of Education and Cultures [Spanish], The Education Information System [Spanish].

Major Government and International Actors within the Educational System

These are the Ministry of Education and Cultures [Spanish] (Ministerio de Educación y Culturas), whose website provides information on the programmes, policies, institutions, activities, and projects created by or functioning under the umbrella of the Bolivian Ministry of Education. The Vice Ministry of Science and Technology [Spanish] (Viceministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología de Bolivia) has as mission to promote research and studies on science and technology in Bolivia. In addition, the Vice Ministry has a website which contains updated information on the organization of national and international competition projects for students and teachers (Olimpiadas estudiantiles científicas y tecnológicas); partnerships and agreements between the Ministry and similar organs of foreign States; and interestingly, bases and lines of participation and qualifications for Bolivian entrepreneurs in national and international science and technological contests. The Bolivian University Executive Committee [Spanish] (Comité Ejecutivo de la Universidad Boliviana) plans and programmes legislation, information to students and professors. This website also contains a list of Bolivian universities (state and private institutions) with the respective links to their websites.

Government and NGO Projects Supporting the Educational System 

Yo si puedo (Yes, I can) [Spanish]: is a national literacy programme created to eradicate illiteracy and as a tool related to adult education in Bolivia, and implemented by the Government. For further explanation of the programme’s stages and functioning, please click here.

The National Project of Access and Continuity in Rural Education for Young Girls (Proyecto de acceso y permanencia de las niñas a la Educación Rural) [Spanish]: this project has as objective the creation of an action plan for the accessibility and continuity of young girls in rural schools.

Project of Transformation of Secondary Education (Proyecto de Transformación de la Educación Secundaria) [Spanish]: the project was presented by the Bolivian Ministry of Education to the World Bank in 2007. The project has as objective the strategic support of the municipal governments’ educative structure. An important component of the project is its institutional strength. To read more about the project’s implementation status and results report, click here [Spanish and English].

The National Programme for New Information and Communication Technologies in the Educative Sector (Programa Nacional de Nuevas Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación en la Educación) [Spanish]: this programme was approved to encourage the supply the educative system with the technological tools required to improve the learning process. This policy accentuates the importance of access to up-to-date information for students.

The Community Educative Telecenter Project (Telecentro Educativo Comunitario) [Spanish]: this project creates common spaces where students, teachers and the community in general have access to computers, internet and new technologies that increase the accessibility to information and facilitate communication for community development.

Agencia Adventista para el Desarrollo y Recursos Asistenciales [Spanish], for work on literacy, school abandonment

Fundación Ayuda en Acción [Spanish], for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Asociación ANAWIN, for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Asociación Ecunémica para el Desarrollo, for work on literacy

AYNISUYU “Territorio de Reciprocidad” [Spanish], for work on literacy, alternative education

Christian Children’s Fund, for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education

Centro para el Desarrollo Regional, for work on literacy, non-formal education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Caritas Boliviana – CEPAS CARITAS [Spanish], for work on literacy, alternative education

Coordinamento Delle Organizzazione per ill Servizio Volontario [English and Italian], for work on literacy

Centro Regional de Estudios Multidisciplinarios “CRIAR”, for work on literacy, alternative education

Instituto de Investigación y Capacitación Campesina, for work on literacy

Instituto de Investigación Cultural para Educación Popular, for work on literacy

Kinder Not Hilfe [Spanish, English and German], for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Promotores Agropecuarios – PROAGRO [Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese], for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education, alternative education

Proceso – Servicios Educativos, for work on literacy, formal education, non-formal education, alternative education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Sociedad Católica San José, for work on literacy, alternative education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Servicios Múltiples de Tecnologías Apropriadas, for work on literacy, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Visión Mundial Internacional en Bolivia [Spanish], for work on literacy, alternative education, school abandonment

Care International, for work on formal education, non-formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Centro Boliviano de Investigación y Acciones Educativas [Spanish], for work on formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Centro de Desarrollo Agropecuario, for work on formal education, non-formal education

Centro de Multiservicios Educativos [Spanish], for work on formal education, non-formal education, school abandonment

Centro de Educación y Desarrollo de la Mujer “AYNI”, for work on formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Centro de Promoción Agropecuaria Campesina [Spanish], for work on formal education, alternative education

Centro de Estudios Regionales para el Desarrollo de Tarija, for work on formal education, non-formal education

Conservación Internacional en Bolivia [Spanish], for work on formal education

Fomento al Desarrollo Infantial, for work on formal education, alternative education

Fundación para la Producción [Spanish], for work on formal education

Fundación Etnica – Agroforestal – Ecológica, Educativa y Previsional, for work on formal education, alternative education

INTERVIDA [Spanish, English, French, Catalan], for work on formal education, alternative education, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Map Internacional Sección Bolivia, for work on formal education, non-formal education, alternative education

Fundación Participación y Sostenibilidad – PASOS, for work on formal education, alternative education

Proyecto de Desarrollo de Area Arani, for work on literacy, formal education, school abandonment

Proyecto de Desarrollo de Area Azirumarca, for work on formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Proyecto de Desarrollo de Area Santivañez, for work on formal education, school abandonment

Proyecto de Desarrollo de Area Tiraque, for work on formal education, school abandonment

Proyecto de Desarrollo de Area Viloma, for work on formal education, school abandonment

Asociación Cristiana Benéfica de Rehabilitación y Reinserción de Marginados, for work on formal education

Servicio de Asesoría a Cooperativas Agrarias, for work on formal education, alternative education

Save the Children USA, for work on formal education, non-formal education, school abandonment

Save the Children Canada [Spanish and English], for work on formal education, non-formal education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Servicios Múltiples de Tecnologías Apropriadas, for work on formal education, non-formal education, alternative education

Servicio, Capacitación e Investigación, for work on formal education, non-formal education

Asociación Boliviana para la Conservación – TROPICO [Spanish and English], for work on formal education

Agencia Internacional Esperanza Bolivia, for work on non-formal education

Asociación de Promotores de Salud de Area Rural [Spanish], for work on non-formal education

Audiovisuales Educativos, for work on non-formal education

Centro de Asesoramiento Legal y Desarrollo Social, for work on non-formal education

Centro de Desarrollo y Fomento a la Autoayuda, for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia [Spanish], for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Centro de Servicios y Asistencia a la Producción Triguera, for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado [Spanish], for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Centro de Investigación Social y Trabajo en Equipos Multidisciplinarios, for non-formal education, alternative education

Crédito con Educación Rural [Spanish], for work on non-formal education

Fundación Bartolomé de las Casas, for work on non-formal education

Fundación Cultural Quipus, for work non-formal education, alternative education

Instituto de Investigación Cultural para Educación Popular, for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Promoción Integral de la Mujer y la Infancia – INFANTE, for work on literacy, non-formal education, alternative education, school abandonment

Project Concern International [Spanish], for work on non-formal education, school abandonment, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Trabajo con Mujeres, Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes, for work on non-formal education, alternative education

World Concern Bolivia [Spanish], for work on non-formal education, alternative education

Centro de Promoción y Educación Yunta, for work on non-formal education

Asociación de Cooperación Rural en Africa y América Latina, for work on alternative education

AIS, for work on alternative education

Audiovisuales Educativos, for work on alternative education, school abandonment

Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo, for work on alternative education

Centro de Educación y Desarrollo Integral del Campesino, for work on alternative education

Centro de Investigación y Documentación Santa Cruz – CIDCRUZ [Spanish], for work on alternative education, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Centro de Investigación de Energía y Población, for work on alternative education

Centro de Investigación, Promoción y Desarrollo de la Ciudad – CIPRODEC, for work on alternative education, breakfast and/or lunch at school

Centro Juana Azurduy, for work on alternative education

Centro de Promoción de la Mujer Gregoria Apaza [Spanish], for work on alternative education

Fundación Bartolomé de las Casas, for work on alternative education, school abandonment

Fundación Cuerpo de Cristo [Spanish], for work on alternative education

Instituto Politécnico Tomas Katari [Spanish], for work on alternative education

Medicus Mundi España – Delegación Bolivia, for work on alternative education

Programas para la Mujer – PRO MUJER, for work on alternative education

Centro de Servicios Múltiples de Apoyo a Desarrollo – SEMILLA, for work on alternative education

 

NEWS ***  We are now working on a very exciting new project to support schools and education NGOs in Bolivia and around the world, first by giving them free exposure on our website (over 100,000 hits in the last two years). If you know any such schools/NGOs and would like to support them, please introduce them to us by writing to info@nuhafoundation.org. ***