Bolivia Children and School
School in Bolivia
In Bolivia, children start school at the age of six. You wear a school uniform. There are usually 30 to 40 children in a class. There are grades in Bolivia too. However, they are expressed in points from 0 to 100. Those who achieve 91 to 100 points receive a “very good”, so that would be like a one with us. You need at least 50 points to pass a test.
87 percent of children in Bolivia go to school. So 13 out of 100 children do not go to school. Often this is because these children have to work (see Children in Poverty). In addition, there is sometimes a lack of schools in rural areas. The way to school is far too far for some children.
Another problem is that many schools only teach in Spanish. However, children from indigenous families only spoke Aymara or Quechua at the age of 6 and cannot follow the lessons. Such children may start school, but then quickly give up and leave school. However, there are more and more schools in which teaching is bilingual. School beginners don’t feel so lost.
A 2013 program will allow teachers to speak one of the most widely spoken Indian languages (i.e. Aymara or Quechua) and also to teach another foreign language (this will mainly be English).
Childhood in Bolivia
In Bolivia, a country located in South America according to elaineqho, 36 percent of the population live in poverty, 6 percent even in extreme poverty. This particularly affects the indigenous peoples in the highlands. Many move to the cities, but often only the slums on the outskirts are left there. Of course, poverty also affects children. Not only that there is a lack of good and nutritious food or clean drinking water, for example. Often they also have to work. In fact, 26 out of 100 children work in Bolivia. That’s every fourth child!
Most of these children work in agriculture. Many don’t go to school. Others work before and after school. They help out in their parents’ fields or tend the cattle. Or they work on plantations and help harvest sugar cane, corn or Brazil nuts. Then there are children who toil in the mining industry. In the cities they sell cigarettes or sweets, clean shoes or act as bus conductors.
Since 2014, child labor from the age of ten has even been legally allowed, at least in certain cases. The children even fought for it themselves because they see their work as the only chance to survive. The number of working children has increased again since then
And then there are the children who live on the streets. Street children try to survive somehow. They work or beg, they take drugs and many are sick. They have no one to turn to. They are often hunted and beaten even by the police.
Not all survive
27 out of 1,000 children in Bolivia die before they are five years old. That is a high value for South America. For example, there are 14 children in Peru and seven in Chile. The reasons for this are also poverty and malnutrition.
It must be said, however, that great progress has been made in the last ten years. That means that poverty has been reduced and a lot has been done for better education. So today there are more people who can read and write.