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Guatemala

map of Guatemala

Guatemala is a country in Central America. An estimated population of about 15,440,000, within an area of 108,890 km2 makes it the most populated state in the region of Central America.

After a period of 36 years of armed conflict in Guatemala peace accords were signed in 1996. Various reform efforts in the different sectors were made. Over the last two decades the Guatemalan Government has achieved great success and considerably improved access to primary education (in Figures: Net Enrolment Rates (NER) in Primary Education increased from 84% (1999) to almost 100% in (2010); Global Monitoring Report 2012). With regards to gender parity in access to primary education the Guatemalan education system also improved significantly.

Despite those efforts and partially positive developments the quality of education in Guatemala remains inadequate. High repetition rates after the first years of schooling (12%), only 68 per cent succeed to reach final grade and just 75 per cent of pupils completing primary school – illustrate those shortcomings in quality of education (GMR 2014). Furthermore the disaggregation of those education indicators draws a very contrasting picture: There are significant differences between rural and urban areas and between the indigenous and non-indigenous population of Guatemala. Gender, poverty and/or disability reinforce the disparity in education achievement even more.

According to the multi-perspective approach of the research design instrumental case studies are conducted at selected schools and its communities in both countries. The criteria location, ethnicity & culture, language, disabilities were taken into account for selecting schools in Guatemala. All selected schools are public primary schools with a coeducational setting.

One of the selected schools is located in the western part of the country and follows a bilingual concept (Spanish and local language) for the mainly indigenous students. As the rural school is very small a teacher usually teaches several grades together in one. The second school uses Spanish as the only language of instruction for the mainly Spanish-speaking population. This school is located in a rural area in the South of Guatemala. A bilingual school in an urban area of the country with a high percentage of indigenous population forms part of the study, as well as an urban school with students who are mainly Spanish-speaking. Furthermore a school which has experiences in inclusive education, including children with disabilities and other special needs forms a case study.

Our Partners

We also benefit from the longterm experience of the GIZ PACE programme which was successfully implemented in Guatemala from 2005 to 2013.

Contact the Team

To contact the team in Guatemala please email Marta Caballeros Ruiz (m.caballeros@refie.org), the national team leader.

First Results

For a first impression of the participatory research processes within the countries, take a look at the Workshop Report of the national Expert Meetings in the field of Inclusive Education.