For many years now I have been struggling with the education system in Bolivia which is in total disarray, but yesterday afternoon my manager in Cochabamba called me in tears to tell me that her two boys were rejected from two public schools.
Why did this happen, I asked?
Well... at both public schools ("colegios fiscales" as they are called in Bolivia), she was told that since she has a job and a monthly salary, the school must send someone to check her house and place of work to make sure she needed to have her kids at a public school. Only after the inspections the school board will determine if they accept the boys.
She was also told that they give priority to:
-Kids whose parents do not have a job
-Families with more than four kids
-Kids who are victims of abuse
In addition, even though they are public schools, public education in Bolivia is not free. Parents must pay monthly for their children to attend school, in addition to uniforms (required at all public schools), books, supplies and materials are not provided by the state.
Not many as private education is expensive in Bolivia.
Wait for the "inspections" and hope for the best.
My feelings about this?
I come from Costa Rica where since 1869, the country became one of the first in the world to make the education both free and obligatory... so you guys can imagine how I feel about something like this happening to the person I see not only as my right hand but as my friend.
I don't usually write things like this on this little space of mine, but this issue definitely deserves to be brought to people's attention.
photography by me