Access to education in Honduras, a right or privilege?

Lilia Enamorato, Honduras

The youth situation in Honduras is hard and complicated due to poverty, corruption, no opportunities, and the access to education is considered a privilege. You can go to a public school, a private school, or a private bilingual school

The highest illiteracy rate in June 2018 is for women from 25-29 years (5.6%) and men (7.8%). And there is a high % of young people that are Not in Education, Employment or Training, NEET, from 12-30 years, is of 24.3%. 

In previous years the drop rate on public schools and colleges was high, but this year due to the pandemic, the financial situations of thousands of families and no access to digital tools, there are 900 000 girls and boys that won´t finish their school year, these kids are also waiting the digital bonus, that the government offered to have access to internet during this pandemic. 

There are many factors that contribute to school dropout in Honduras, but imagine yourself living in a remote town, where you have to walk 5km back and forth each day to go to school and your parents have to pay for all of your school supplies, while they wait for you at home so you can help them with the family activities to make money.

This is the story of thousands of families, that can´t afford to have their kids at school for different reasons and the education system is not strong to help them, to pay for their supplies, lunch and create a long-term strategy to support other kids in this situation.

And how is the situation on public education with online classes due to the pandemic? Not so different, with the lack of access to internet, computers, or smartphones plus the actual situation after the 2 hurricanes, many kids are left behind.

Public schools are not having online classes, the students are only submitting assignments via WhatsApp to their grade teacher. Teachers are teaching classes through National Tv as a government solution for the lack on access to digital tools.

The upcoming scholar year, due to the pandemic, will still be online for private and public education, hoping there will be a different strategy so the drop rate won´t increase and the kids will learn.