The nation's primary and preprimary teachers are trained in teacher-training programs administered by the secondary education division of the Ministry of Education in the nation's many pedagogical institutes. The best of these programs, and the strongest secondary school among all categories, is widely recognized as the Managua-based Escuela Pedagogico La Salle. The complete five-year course of study at La Salle and the other institutes is initiated after the completion of primary education and consists of a three-year program of general education followed by a two-year program of specialization. Upon completion of this program, students are awarded the Diploma de Maestro de Educación Primaria (diploma of mastery of primary education). Secondary schools receive their training in a four-year program of study at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAM). Completion of this program is recognized by the conferring of the Título de Profesor de Educación Media along with the Licenciatura degree. Admission to the secondary training program requires the completion of the secondary-level Bachillerato or the earning of the primary education certification.
The nation's 28,000 teachers are not highly paid but, compared with their Central American peers, fare well. In 1995 union officials complained of average teachers earning only 275 cordobas (US$55) a month and noted that a family of seven is estimated to spend 200 cordobas on basic needs each month, leaving a teacher attempting to support a large family with limited disposable income. By 1999, this average salary had risen to 425 cordobas per month, compared with a salary of 400 for Salvadoran teachers and 358 for those in Panama. The post-Sandinista years have been considerably less friendly to organized labor than had the previous period. The teachers are represented by a union, ANDEN, which has sought not only an increase in wages, but job security for its members by creating a system of tenure in the schools. Although stating their dedication to preserving and expanding the gains made in education through the 1980s, ANDEN's activities and demands have largely focused on salary and working condition issues, rather than those of educational philosophy and curriculum.
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceNicaragua - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education