The school system and education in Paraguay differ significantly from the US/EU in some aspects. Some of the most important differences are described below.Read more
School system in Paraguay
The school system in Paraguay consists of elementary school (educación escolar básica) and secondary schools (educación escolar media). Attendance at elementary school is compulsory for all children between the ages of six and 14. Secondary education usually lasts six years and ends with a certificate of completion known as a “bachillerato”, which is equivalent to the high school or “Abitur”.
Quality of education
One of the biggest challenges in Paraguay’s education system is the quality of education. Schooling in Paraguay is free, but there are many challenges in the education system. For example, there is an imbalance in the quality of education, as some schools are better equipped and funded than others. If you compare the free state schools with private schools and especially an international (or german) school in Paraguay, they are usually much better equipped.
Another difference concerns the curriculum. In Paraguay there is a national curriculum, but the implementation can vary depending on the school. It is at the discretion of the teachers which areas of the curriculum are actually implemented in a school year. In other countries such as the US or EU, there is a curriculum that is implemented in a much more binding way.
Universities or Colleges
For those seeking higher education, there are several universities and colleges in Paraguay. The Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA) is the largest university in the country and offers courses in a variety of disciplines. There are also private universities and technical colleges that offer a wide range of courses. However, access to higher education is often limited, as there are many hurdles to being admitted.
Some universities are comparatively cheap to almost free; however, places there are very limited and you have to be among the best in a relevant entrance exam to get a place. Other universities have much more generous criteria, but the tuition fees are much higher. Basically, one can say that with money, many things are easier in Paraguay – a good education is certainly part of it.
There are also differences between Paraguay and the US or EU in terms of the unemployment rate. While the unemployment rate in many western countries was around 3% in 2021, it was around 7% percent in Paraguay. This may be due in part to differences in the quality of education and the availability of jobs.
In conclusion, there are some challenges in the education system in Paraguay compared to the rest of the western world. However, the government is taking steps to improve the quality and access to education. Even though there are differences in the school system and education, all western countries have the goal of providing students with a good education so they can succeed in society.