Education in Guatemala has undergone much transformation since the ratification of the constitution in 1986. Increased attention to curriculum, multiculturalism, and social responsibility has strengthened the quality of education in Guatemala substantially. However, several future challenges still remain.
First, the government of Guatemala is committed to reducing illiteracy among its populace. Efforts to unify the nation in a common language, Spanish, is part of this directive. Not only does the Ministry of Education seek to improve Guatemalans' reading ability, but it remains determined to enhance students' background in other basics such as mathematics and foreign language.
Second, the government of Guatemala identifies the need to move its schools further into the information age by strengthening instruction in topics related to globalization and multiculturalism. Thanks to the Peace Accord Agreement of 1996 and a constitutional mandate to promote pluralism, the schools in Guatemala are making noteworthy progress toward this goal. Guatemala can continue to move forward by building and maintaining close educational ties with the United States and other countries in the Central America, Europe, and Asia.
Finally, Guatemala recognizes the importance of devoting more resources to its educational endeavors. Like many other countries, teachers in Guatemala are not highly paid, and technological innovations are slow to move into the country's rural schools. The current educational budget is inadequate for advancing widespread educational programs in the smaller cities and mountain areas. Increased internal funding, more participation from parents, more support from the private sector, and continued alliances with other countries will help bring about an even stronger commitment to moving all Guatemalan classrooms into the twenty-first century.
The government and people of Guatemala represent a strong commitment to learning, teaching, and developing. Guatemala's partnership with the United States and the world community at large demonstrate an exceptional willingness to assertively improve the quality of its education. With hard work, ingenuity, and continued support from its neighbors, Guatemala promises to take the lead in educational reform in Central and Latin America.
Embassy of Guatemala to the United States. Culture and Education, 2001. Available from http://www.guatemalaembassy.org/.
Guatemala's Country Profile, 2001. Available from http://www.quetzalnet.com/.
The Latin America Alliance. Guatemala, 2001. Available from http://www.latinsynergy.org/.
Latin America Network Information Center, the University of Texas. Guatemala, 2001.Available from http://www.lanic.utexas.edu/.
Universidad de Valle de Guatemala, 2001. Available from http://www.uvg.edu.gt/.
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Background Notes: Guatemala, 2001. Available from http://www.state.gov/.
—William J. Wardrope
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