Poverty and Education Inequality in Latin America (Angel Martinez)

In Latin America, countries such as Mexico and Peru have made strides to improve their education systems. One of these include minimizing their gender gap. When viewing statistics for the net attendance rate, literacy rate, and primary school completion, these countries have managed to make education equal for men and women with only differences being no greater than a percentage or two. Additionally, at every level of education, attendance has also risen significantly. The issue with the education system in Latin American countries is the disproportion in education quality between poor and affluent students. These differences in quality factor in the amount of years that students attend school. For example, in Guatemala, low-income students average about two years of education whereas wealthier students average six. There is a clear and definite correlation between poverty and education. Health and nutrition must also be considered. Low-income students have poorer overall health and spend less time on school and homework and tend to be more absent as well. They also are less likely to attend preschool and even if they do, the quality does not compare to that of the more affluent students. This means they will be less prepared than other students for primary school. Children who are better-off also have more educated/higher quality teachers and greater access to teaching materials. Teachers who are much more devoted to the children and their teaching practices. Mexico, for example, “has the lowest proportion of teachers who report having completed a teacher education or training programme” at 62% (Education Gap In Latin America).


Works Cited

“EDUCATION GAP IN LATIN AMERICA.” Educando, educando.org/education-latin-america/.

“Education and Poverty in Latin America.” ReVista, revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/education-and-poverty-latin-america.

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