Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Education in Chile is important to all Chileans and they are very committed to it. Their educational system is based on the French and Germans models where it is highly recognised and regarded in the Latin Americans. Education is the main priority for the lower and middle classes as they believe it can help them to improve their standards of living.

The literacy rate in Chile is 95% and is one of the highest among Latin America. Education is free and compulsory from the age of 5 to 12 which is the elementary level. However, school attendance is relatively low in some of the rural areas. Originally, universities are free and open but the funds used in education are too high and the government decided to collect school fees in all education level and at a high rate to ease the state funding. In addition, most of the students graduated as lawyers similarly to other Latin American countries and resulting in shortage of skilled people in the engineer sector and other more practical fields.

In 2003, May 7, was an historical day for Chile’s education, when a new constitutional guaranty came into force to help the government by extending compulsory free education from the age of 8 to 12 to prevent the low attendance in school. Three initiatives are launched by the Ministry of Education in the same month. They are the English-language program, a digital literacy campaign and bonus financing for state schools. Other than that, the government have signed an agreement with World Bank where both parties will contribute US$ 50 million each to scientific and technology development in Chile over a 6 years period. This will help Chile in having more skilled and trained graduates in these fields.

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