How is school in Honduras?
In Honduras, children have to go to school between the ages of 7 and 12. Schooling is compulsory during this time. It corresponds to the elementary school, which lasts from the 1st to the 6th grade. In some schools, elementary school has been run up to the 9th grade since 2000. There are no fees to attend school.
Not everyone goes to school
Nevertheless, 5 percent of the children do not go to school. Sometimes the parents have no money for school books or exercise books. Sometimes they send their children to work or let the children help with the harvest in their own fields.
If you live in a remote area, you may have to walk a long way to school. Or classes cannot take place because there are too few teachers. Large classes, sometimes taught in just a single classroom, are another problem. Sometimes there are 80 students in a classroom!
Only 46 percent of boys and 53 percent of girls in a given year attend secondary school. The first cycle starts with the 7th grade and goes up to the 9th grade. Those who continue to school afterwards can graduate after 12th grade and go to university.
Lessons in Spanish
Teaching in Honduras is in Spanish. Children of indigenous people, who may only speak their language, first have to learn Spanish in order to be able to follow the lessons. However, there are not many speakers of the Indian languages left in the country. There are also private, bilingual schools in Honduras that teach Spanish and English. Since 2015 children have also been receiving English lessons in state schools.
Grades and vacations
Grades are given in percent. In order to pass a job, you have to achieve at least 70 percent. The school year starts in February and ends in November. The main holidays in Honduras are in November / December, in the dry season. There is also another week of vacation at the end of March or beginning of April.
15 percent of adults in Honduras cannot read. Among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the number of illiterate people is only 6 or that of boys and 4 percent of girls, but that is still too much.
How are the children in Honduras?
As a country located in Central America according to itypeauto, Honduras is a poor country. 17 percent of the population lives below the international poverty line. That means you have less than $ 1.90 a day to live on. People who live in rural areas and the indigenous population are particularly hard hit by poverty. Often both conditions apply to families, so they are indigenous people who live in the countryside.
Children particularly suffer from poverty. For example, if they don’t get enough to eat, they won’t grow properly and are much smaller than other children. Poor families sometimes don’t send their children to school. In Honduras, this affects 5 percent of children. Medical care in rural areas is also poor. Those who get sick have much too far to go to the nearest doctor or cannot pay for the medication.
15 percent of children in Honduras between the ages of 5 and 14 go to work. That’s more than 370,000 children! It affects 22 percent of boys and 8 percent of girls. Some work after school, others drop out of school and don’t go to school (anymore) and work all day. More children work in the country than in the city. Often they work in agriculture and unpaid for their own families (three quarters of all working children).
On plantations of coffee, sugar cane and melon one can also see children working. Others help mine limestone, fish lobsters, work as construction workers, make fireworks, sell goods on the street, wash car windows, or collect rubbish. Girls work as domestic servants or become forced prostitution.
An education program is now supposed to help poor families with money so that they can send their children to school instead of to work (see also school).
Many crimes are committed in Honduras. Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Violence is part of everyday life that children have to experience again and again. Because they see no hope for themselves, many children or young people also become members of a gang, the so-called maras. 40,000 young people in Honduras are said to belong to the maras. They trade in drugs and extort protection money (see also El Salvador).
Maria from Honduras
Maria Gabriela – a completely normal girl! Like most girls her age, the eleven-year-old loves listening to music, playing hide and seek and jumping rope. But she is also seriously concerned about her future: when she grows up, she wants to become a doctor. Will your wish come true? She would have enough ambition: Maria is a bright child – and very hardworking. Your performance in school is excellent. She is in the fourth grade of elementary school. Her favorite subjects are Social Studies and Spanish. Maria wants to write her letters herself and is very keen to learn new things.
She doesn’t have much time to study. In Honduras, children have to contribute to the family support from an early age. Maria helps her mother clean the house and looks after the animals.
Maria lives with her family in a village in northwest Honduras. She is the only girl in the family – and the youngest of four siblings: Maria’s oldest brother Cristofer is seventeen and works as a bricklayer. Fourteen year old Edwin and twelve year old Eric are still in school. Maria’s father is no longer with the family, the parents have separated.
The family lives in a small house made of concrete blocks and a corrugated iron roof. Fortunately, they have their own latrine. Sanitary facilities like these cannot be taken for granted in Maria’s home.
Maria’s mother Pilar prepares the daily meals on a copper stove. It mainly uses firewood for heating. Collecting the firewood from the area is usually the job of women and children and takes a lot of time. Maria’s family lives – like the other families in the village – from a very low income. The only one in her family who is currently earning money is Maria’s oldest brother. That means a constant struggle for the most essential things. Nobody is alone in Maria’s village for this, and there is great solidarity in and among the families. Maria, her mother and brothers spend a large part of their free time with friends and neighbors. You visit each other and talk, or you gather together in front of the radio to listen to music and the news.