School and Education in Chile

The first law on compulsory and free compulsory education in Chile came in 1920.

A strongly centralized education system was replaced by decentralization and privatization in the 1980s school reforms. The major political changes in Chile have had little impact on the school, which has been governed by a strong, stable middle class. Equal right to education has been central for a long time. However, research shows that there are major differences in the quality of education. Large parts of the education program are private, in primary and secondary school, more than 40% of pupils attend private schools.

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The compulsory elementary school is 8 years old and starts when the children are 6 years old. It is divided into two steps. The high school is 4 years old and is divided in an academic and a vocational direction. About. 75% of pupils in primary school continue in high school.

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Higher education is built around universities, professional institutes and technical education centers. There has been a strong privatization of higher education since 1980. Approx. 37% take higher education (2000). The largest university is the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, founded in 1843.

Adult illiteracy is estimated at approx. 4% (2000), which is very low according to Latin American conditions.

In December 2003, General Manuel Contreras’ case came to court along with several other intelligence chiefs. The background was the disappearance of 9 people during Operation Condor, a joint operation among the military dictatorships in Latin America in the 1970’s. Against this background, a new petition was filed with the Court of Appeal for prosecution of Ex-dictator Pinochet, after it appeared impeccable – and thus suitable for prosecution – in an interview.

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Chile’s former UN ambassador to the UN Security Council in March 2004 accused the United States of espionage against both the Chilean UN mission and several other countries in the months leading up to the US attack on Iraq in March 2003.

Despite continued pressure from the Catholic Church, in April 2004, President Lagos signed the law giving Chileans the right to divorce.

That same month, the head of intelligence under the Pinochet dictatorship, Manuel Contreras, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the disappearance of journalist Diana Aaron in 1974.

In July, the Permanent Investigation Commission of the United States Senate criticized that while Pinochet was arrested in London, the North American bank Riggs helped him hide his fortune. Pinochet had 4-8 million. US $ standing in the bank without the bank’s management investigating the origin of the money. Acc. North American anti-money laundering legislation requires banks to investigate the activities of their clients to ensure that they originate from legal activities. In addition, Senate investigators who investigated Riggs activities for more than a year found that the bank had used companies and accounts abroad under false names to conceal links with Pinochet.

Commenting on the US investigation into the relationship between Riggs and Pinochet, President Lagos stated that: “If the US investigations establish with certainty that these accounts exist and are linked to Pinochet, then a commission will likely be set up to investigate the circumstances within the framework of the Chilean state ». Immediately afterwards, Pinochet was reported for fraud and other financial crimes due to the secret bank accounts in Riggs. The complaint was filed by attorney Carmen Hertz, a widow of a politician who was executed shortly after the coup d’etat in 1973. The complaint was filed with the Santiago Court of Appeals, accusing the ex-dictator of fraud with public funds during his reign.