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There, religious institutions are often the only filler in the gap The first 3 years of secondary education known as basico are similar to junior high school elsewhere and provide pupils with a spread of subjects aimed at preparing them for the widest range of working roles.

Guatemala Education System - Classbase

In addition, schools serving working class students, especially in rural areas and poor urban enclaves, receive fewer resources, struggle to attract and retain qualified teachers, are not adequately supported by the school community, and are rarely inspected for quality.

While higher education was free, secondary education was not, yet it was a pre-requisite for university admission.

Education System in Guatemala Education School/Level ..

Guatemala Education Thesis

It was the children of the new political and business elite who mostly gained access to the free education.

Another equity-related concern is that whereas higher education was free, lower levels of education (especially secondary education) were not always free.

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The education system in El Salvador:
Mandatory Education:
Age of entry: 7
Age of exit: 15

Basic primary education:
Length of program: 9 years
Ages: 7-15
Award: certificate

Middle secondary education:
Length of program: 2 years
Ages: 15-17
Award: Bachillerato General
( basic course work for entry to college)

Technological secondary education:
Length of program: 3 years
Ages: 15-17
Award: Bachillerato General Vocational
(3rd year is comprised of specialized courses that help them enter the labor market).

University level studies:
First stage: técnico or technician, physiotherapy, maternal and infant hygiene, clinical lab work etc.) 3-year program.

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Opened in 1789, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is a “Public Ivy,” research and liberal arts institution educating over 29,000 Tar Heels near Raleigh. According to the USNWR, UNC Chapel Hill is the 13th top value school nationwide. The top-ranked School of Medicine has offered a 60-credit M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology for 30 years. Clinical or non-clinical tracks are available with at least 400 practicum hours. There’s also a bilingual option in Spanish that includes a service learning trip to Antigua, Guatemala.

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Furthermore, the purchase of legitimation cannot be ruled out as a significant rationale for the push for free higher education, especially by politicians.

The post-apartheid era is characterised by huge expectations and, in the context of high youth unemployment and a lack of alternative post-secondary opportunities, higher education has become a very crowded but narrow ladder of opportunity into the middle-class.

Given general dissatisfaction with the present tuition fee regimes the higher education participation inequalities in the country, a policy of free higher education is a potentially useful strategy for compensatory legitimation by a government whose ‘core’ constituency is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with service delivery.

On the face of it, a policy of free higher education would be consistent with the country’s overarching post-apartheid policy of transformation and social justice.

Will free higher education be the harbinger for an egalitarian South Africa?

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Compared to the level of student support during the early 1970s when the system underwent a phase of significant expansion, today’s support system is much more limited, making higher education less inclusive (Garritzmann, forthcoming and 2015).

While some countries like Germany and Norway have maintained a tuition-free higher education regime, comparing these countries to South Africa is highly problematic.

Germany and Norway have achieved universal access to primary and secondary education of good quality, their income tax regimes are among the most exacting in the world – 45% in Germany and 55% in Norway – and they have among the most advanced economies in the world.

Learn from Africa

It is not the norm for South Africa to make comparisons with or draw lessons from other African countries.