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Bolivia Education and Training



School duty is formally advisable for children between 6 and 14 years. After the eight-year compulsory school follows a four-year high school.

Almost all children now attend school, although many work at the same time. The cause is often poverty. The children are forced to contribute to the family's livelihood. In addition, there is a shortage of schools, especially in rural areas where only about half of the students are expected to complete primary school. More than half of all children continue to high school.

  • Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Bolivia, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and universities.
  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Bolivia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

The quality of teaching is often low, but school reforms from 1994 onwards have led to improvements. President Morale's government (2006-2009), among other things, invested in bilingualism in teaching. In an attempt to get more children to complete school, the government has made financial contributions to the parents, if the teachers certify that the children participated in at least 80 percent of the lessons.

An effort has also been made to teach all adult Bolivians to read and write. Every tenth adult was estimated some years ago to lack the knowledge, but in 2008 illiteracy was declared to be extinct in the country.

Bolivia has several universities, both state and privately owned. Some of the private colleges are run by religious institutions. There are also business, art and music colleges as well as teacher colleges.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

91.9 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

19 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

92.5 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

16.8 percent (2014)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

16.8 percent (2014)



The president is allowed to stand for re-election

November 28

The Constitutional Court states that President Morales has the right to stand in the 2019 presidential election and thus have a chance to secure a fourth term on the rake. The Court annulled the outcome of the referendum on the issue on the grounds that it was due to an illegal dirt-throwing campaign (see February 2016 and December 2016).

Protesters want to see Morales re-elected

November 7

Thousands of people are demonstrating in La Paz demanding that President Morales be allowed to run for a fourth term. Supporters claim that Morales needs more time to consolidate social reforms. The government claims that the result of the referendum on the issue (see February 2016) was due to an illegal dirt-throwing campaign against him.


Protest against Morale's attempt to be re-elected

October 10

Thousands of Bolivians protest President Morale's attempt to be re-elected for the fourth time in 2019 by abolishing the statute of limitations on how many terms a single person can be president. See also September 2017.


Progress in mine clearance at the border

September 27th

Bolivia's Ministry of Defense announces that Chile has excavated and destroyed 80 percent of the mines laid by the country along the border with Bolivia. Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira says there are now estimated to be about 26,000 Chilean mines left at the border. The mines were laid out in the 1970s by Chile's then military dictatorship. According to the Ottawa Agreement, all mines would have been cleared by 2012. Chile and Bolivia have not had any formal diplomatic relations since 1978.

MAS tries to get Morales re-elected

September 20

Members of Congress from the ruling party MAS are appealing to the Constitutional Court to have the Constitution amended so that President Morales can run for office in the next presidential election (see February and December 2016).


Boiling crops are expanded

March 8th

A new law is enacted that almost doubles the area that can be used for legal cultivation of boil, from 12,000 hectares to 22,000 hectares. The state has hopes to be able to increase the export of cookie products. Legitimate exports already exist to Ecuador. The opposition argues that the law contravenes the Constitution as it goes against international treaties and favors drug trafficking. According to an estimate by the UN, boiling of 20,400 hectares was cultivated in 2014, thus significantly more than the existing law allowed.


Ex-president is sentenced in Italy

January 17

Luis García Meza, who was president from 1980-1981, sentenced to life imprisonment for his participation in Operation Condor, a campaign conducted by right-wing junta in South America against left-wing forces from 1975, while 19 defendants are released after the two-year trial. García Meza is 87 years old and is already serving a 30-year prison sentence for human rights violations.



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