The level of education is low in Paraguay. There are too few schools, especially in rural areas, and there is a lack of classrooms. Many children speak only guaraní and cannot follow the teaching, which is usually held in Spanish.
The school system was not a priority during the dictatorship (1954–1989) and despite the situation having improved significantly, the Paraguayan school is still inferior to other Latin American countries. Teaching is often substandard, teachers are poorly educated and underpaid, and material shortcomings are great in schools.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Paraguay, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The school obligation covers nine years of compulsory school, divided into a first six-year stage and a three-year high school. The children should start school at the age of six, but many start a few or a few years later and it is also common for students to attend a class. Although the school is formally compulsory, every fifth child has dropped out of high school. Just over half goes to the three-year high school.
Among the causes of the large drop-out are the lack of schools and teachers in many places mainly in the countryside. Bad roads sometimes make it difficult for children to get to school.
Until the 1990s, there were only two universities, one state and one Catholic university in Asuncion. Nowadays there are a large number of private colleges, but they are generally of low quality. Families who can afford to send their young people to foreign universities. Chile is a popular destination.
Among the indigenous people, the level of education is lower than the average.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Paraguay, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
88.5 percent (2012)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
94.7 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
18.2 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
18.2 percent (2016)
Dispute with Israel on embassy move
The government announces that the embassy in Israel will be moved back to Tel Aviv (see May 2018), leading to Israel threatening to close its embassy in Asuncion while the Palestinian Authority plans to open an embassy. Mario Abdo Benítez has previously made clear that he did not support the decision to move the embassy from Jerusalem, saying he wants to help achieve “fair and sustainable” peace in the Middle East.
Abdo becomes President
Mario Abdo Benítez swears the presidential race and takes over as head of state and government. He promises to invest in law and order as well as good conditions for business and industry.
Cartes withdraws the dismissal application
President Cartes withdraws his application to resign prematurely.
The president wants to retire prematurely
President Horatio Cartes submits his resignation to be able to take office as a senator when the newly elected National Congress meets at the end of the six months. Thus, Vice President Alicia Pucheta would take over as acting president until Mario Abdo Benítez takes office on August 15. But Cartes does not receive support for his application to Congress. Pucheta was a judge in the Supreme Court before she succeeded Juan Afara as vice president in early May. Afara has also been elected to the Senate.
Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel
Paraguay becomes the second country (after Guatemala) to follow the US example and move its embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is a contentious decision that many around the world perceive as a symbolically charged position in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Colorado Party wins the election
Mario Abdo Benítez wins the presidential election with 46.4 percent of the vote, against 42.7 for Efraín Alegre, a candidate for opposition alliance Ganar. The Colorado Party also remains the largest in Congress but backs a few seats in both chambers and gets 42 seats in the House of Representatives and 17 in the Senate. PLRA strengthens its position slightly and gets 29/13, Guasú front gets 0/6 and Älskade fosterland (PPQ) gets 3/3, while the remaining twelve places in both chambers are shared by seven small parties.
The Colorado Party leads in opinion polls
In an opinion poll ahead of the April 22 election, the ruling Colorado Party presidential candidate Mario Abdo Benítez leads with 55 percent ahead of opposition alliance Ganar’s candidate Efraín Alegre, who gets the support of 26 percent.
Kidnapped Mennonites free
The Marxist guerrilla EPP releases two Mennonites (see Population and Languages) who have been held captive for five months, reportedly since their families paid a total of $ 1.25 million in ransom for them. A third Mennonite kidnapped was found dead in January. He had been kidnapped in August 2015 and his family was reportedly unable to pay the requested ransom.
Emergency permit after flooding
The authorities in Asuncion announce a state of emergency in a month since heavy rainfall caused floods mainly in poor residential areas. At least 20,000 people have been homeless since the Paraguay River swam across their boards.