Schools close in Bolivia

By: Jette Luna, vice-chair, CICED 

The corona pandemic means increased inequality. Also in access to education. In Bolivia, the government decided in August to end the 2020 school year. The government cannot guarantee all children and young people access to virtual education.

Therefore, there will be some students who are excluded from the education their peers with access to the internet receive during the COVID-19 quarantine. The lack of access to virtual education is especially true for children and young people in rural areas

Specifically, the end of the year means that all children and young people in the country’s schools will not receive education for the rest of this school year, which in Bolivia ends at the end of 2020. In return, all students in primary and secondary education will not have to take the mandatory tests at the end of the school year. All students will be “assessed fit” to move up a grade when schools in Bolivia reopen.

The schools closed in March, and teachers have been working hard to get virtual classes up and running. In June, the government decided that this distance learning would continue until December, when the school year actually ends.

But the decision was met with vigorous protests from teachers and parent organizations. How could children and young people from rural areas pass this year’s end-of-year exams when they have no access to the internet and have been excluded from classes since March?

After a slow start, the number of COVID-19 infections in Bolivia is rising. On August 1, there were, according to WHO recorded 75,234 infections and 2,894 deaths. At the time of writing – five weeks later – the figures are 119,580 infected and 5,343 dead.

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