The teaching system is divided into three administrative sectors: the Ministry of Folk Education, the governing body of the universities and the Ministry of Arts and Native Affairs. The latter deals with issues relating to schools that focus on arts and crafts. The country is divided into nine school districts, one for each department, with elementary schools, secondary schools and technical schools. The majority of the education system is state-funded, but private schools are allowed.
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The school obligation covers the age between 6 and 14 years, but several children receive limited schooling. This may be due to traditional resistance to education, long distances to schools or lack of school resources. Many students, especially in rural areas, end up prematurely helping with family support. It is estimated that about 90% of children receive schooling during at least some of their upbringing. About 30% of 15-17 year olds go on to upper secondary education.
The country has six state and two private universities; In addition, there are two technical colleges. Of the adult population, 17% are estimated to be illiterate (24% of women).
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The October 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections were a major victory for Morales and MAS, rising from 53.7% to 61.4% of the vote. MAS received 88 of the seats among the Chamber of Deputies 130 and 25 of the Senate’s 36. Morales was the country’s historically most popular president, and at the same time became the longest sitting. The popularity was mainly due to the fact that he was the president of the poor, who until 2014 had reduced poverty by 25% and extreme poverty by 43%.
Bolivia flag source: Countryaah.com
Economic growth in the country was high. In 2014 alone it was 6.95%. It was mainly based on the export of natural gas and zinc. The two main trading partners were Brazil and Argentina, which together accounted for over half of the country’s exports.
In October 2015, Evo Morales had served 9 years and 9 months on the presidential post, thus becoming the country’s longest-serving president. His enormous popularity was mainly due to the socio-economic reforms that had drawn millions from poverty. In his reign, extreme poverty was reduced by 43% and poverty by 25%.
In February 2016, a referendum to amend the constitution was held that would have paved the way for Morales to stand for a 4th presidential term in 2019, but he and MAS narrowly lost the vote as 51.3% voted against. The turnout was at a record high of 85.5%.
In August, Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes was killed during a miner’s demonstration. The miners objected to the change in an addition to the Cooperative Law that gave them the right to organize.