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Honduras - Preprimary & Primary Education

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceHonduras - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education

PREPRIMARY & PRIMARY EDUCATION

At age four, children may attend either a public or a private school, and they do so for a period of three years (ages four to six). Preprimary education is divided into three stages: prekindergarten, kindergarten, and preparatory. The Honduran constitution stipulates that preprimary education must be both free and compulsory. In fact, however, very few children (less than 13 percent in the early 1990s) do go to school at this early age, and those who do go come mostly from urban areas. This is because the law forcing compulsory attendance is more strictly enforced in urban areas.

As one might expect, primary school students get a smattering of academics: they learn a few numbers and the alphabet. Most youngsters spend their time playing games and singing songs that are appropriate for their age. However, preprimary teaching goes further than babysitting. Teachers emphasize good behavior and disposition for study.

Primary school lasts six years, and the age level ranges from 7 to 13. More than 90 percent of Honduran children attend primary school, despite a scarcity of teachers and inadequate classroom space. In addition, most elementary schoolteachers have poor backgrounds themselves, having had very little preparation in the sciences and in teaching methodology. Primary school teachers concentrate on teaching basic skills, though many instruct students in practical subjects such as agriculture and physical education.


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