INCREASING EDUCATION ACCESS,
QUALITY, AND EQUITY IN GUATEMALA
Latin American and Caribbean Education Profiles 1999–2004
PROFILES OF USAID EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT
EFFORTS: INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES
This publication is one in a series profiling the recent work of the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the education
sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It is intended for all
who are interested in learning more about USAID, international
development, and education activities in the LAC region.While USAID
currently has offices or development activities in 17 countries throughout
the region, its education development efforts are concentrated in eight:
the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras,
Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Peru.
The purpose of the series is to provide information on how the U.S.
government is responding to diverse education needs in these countries
through a variety of initiatives—ranging from innovative projects that
increase educational access for underserved populations to efforts to
foster policy dialogue and better decision-making in the sector. Bringing
these initiatives to life typically requires coordination with and participa-
tion from a variety of international, national, and local partners.
The publications highlight USAID efforts in these countries during a five-
year period, 1999–2004. Each profile treats one country and includes a
succinct analysis of key problems that limit access to quality education
there, defining those challenges within historical, political, and social
contexts.The publication outlines USAID’s strategies for targeting its
education investments, describes specific projects for addressing key
issues, and shares lessons learned/best practices to improve future
The Education Team of the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
expresses its gratitude to the dozens of officials at the USAID missions in
the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras,
Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Peru who gave generously of their time in
welcoming the editorial team to the host countries, squiring the team’s
writers and researchers throughout the missions, furnishing ample
information and photographs, and reviewing the documents through
successive iterations to ensure that the information herein would not only
be factually accurate but also portray the true spirit of the featured
ACCESS, QUALITY, AND EQUITY
Latin American and Caribbean
Education Profiles 1999–2004
Literacy facilitator in village
of San Juan Ostuncalco,
COVER: Students on scholarship at Universidad Rafael Landívar,
All images courtesy of U.S.Agency for International Development.
GUATEMALA AT A GLANCE
Total Population: 12.7 million (mid-2004 estimate)
Land Area: 108,430 sq. km (slightly smaller than Tennessee)
Capital: Guatemala City (metropolitan area population:
2.66 million—2003 estimate)
Government Type: Constitutional democratic republic
Current President: Oscar Berger, elected to a four-year term in
November 2003, inaugurated January 2004
Total Gross Domestic Product: US$23.3 billion
Per Capita Gross National Income: US$1,740 (third-most unequal income distribution in the world)
Population Living on Less Than US$2 a Day: 57 percent (21.5 percent lives in extreme poverty [less than US$1 a day]—2002 estimate)
Human Development Index: .652 (compared with .777 LAC regional average—2001estimate)
Overall Donor Assistance: US$968 million per year (excluding debt relief—2002 estimate)
HEALTH AND CULTURE
Median Age: 18.4 years
Life Expectancy at Birth: 66 years
Annual Population Growth Rate: 2.8 percent
Chronic Malnutrition: 49 percent of children under 5
Languages: Spanish 60 percent, Amerindian languages 40 percent (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including K’iche’,
Kaqchikel, Mam, Q’eqchi’)
Official Language: Spanish
Ethnic Groups: Ladino (mestizo Spanish–Indian) 55 percent, indigenous 43 percent, other 2 percent
Compulsory Education: 8 years (ages 7–14)
Literacy Rate: 70.6 percent (female: 63.3 percent/male: 78 percent)
Primary Completion Rate (Gross): 63.3 percent (2003 estimate)
Secondary Completion Rate: 10.1 percent (female: 11.7 percent/male: 8.8 percent)
Primary Net Enrollment: 89.2 percent (2003 estimate)
Lower Secondary Net Enrollment: 29 percent (2003 estimate)
Tertiary Net Enrollment: 14.3 percent (2000 estimate)
Public Expenditures on Education Sector: 2.63 percent of GDP (2003 estimate)
Sources: CIA World Factbook 2004 (www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gt.html); State Department Background Notes, September 2003
(www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2045.htm); 2004 World Population Data Sheet of the Population Reference Bureau (www.prb.org/pdf04/04WorldDataSheet_Eng.pdf); and USAID
FY 2005 Congressional Budget Justification for Guatemala.
GUATEMALA AT A GLANCE
GUATEMALA’S PRESIDENT OSCAR BERGER ASSUMED OFFICE IN JANUARY 2004 AND
IDENTIFIED BETTER EDUCATION AS AN IMPERATIVE TO REALIZING HIS GOAL OF
EMPLOYMENT AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL GUATEMALAN CITIZENS.
Education has become incrementally more accessible in Guatemala in recent
years. But nearly a decade after a 36-year civil war, cultural and economic
gaps persist. Only 30 percent of rural students complete third grade, and two
thirds of Maya first graders are taught by instructors who neither understand
nor speak the children’s maternal languages. In addition to lack of access,
poor teacher training and insufficient resources plague the system.
From 1997 through 2004, USAID’s education program in Guatemala sought
to dissolve language and cultural barriers by increasing access to
intercultural bilingual education (IBE), to allay geographic disadvantages by
improving educational services to rural communities, and to reduce
inequities by developing policies sensitive to gender and cultural diversity.
The number of children in schools directly affected by USAID basic
education programs increased from 266,000 in 1999 to 426,000 in 2003. IBE
has proven a cost-effective delivery strategy for educating rural indigenous
children in their mother tongues before teaching them further skills in
Spanish. Culturally appropriate interactive education materials have also
been effective at relatively little cost, even in remote and resource-poor
areas. In 2004, USAID/Guatemala shifted its emphasis to policy reform,
advocacy and alliance building to promote increased and improved social
USAID/Guatemala’s 2004–2009 Country Strategy:
1) Emphasizes increased and improved social sectors and transparency.
2) Fosters policy dialogue to increase public and private investments in
3) Improves the efficiency of expenditures and equity of resource
4) Expands decentralized services.
USAID/GUATEMALA HAS MOVED FROM FACILITATING ON-THE-GROUND PROGRAMS TO
FOSTERING A STRONGER OVERALL EDUCATION SECTOR.
“The quality and relevance of primary and secondary school
ing in LAC countries continue to cause concern, as the
majority of students attend weak and underfunded schools
and fail to acquire basic skills in mathematics, language, and
science. Fewer than 30 percent of students in the region
complete secondary school, and many of those who do finish
lack the skills to compete in the workplace—let alone in an
increasingly competitive global economy. USAID programs
are improving educational systems by developing innovative
pilots and more effective service delivery models, many of
which are being expanded by host governments and multi
lateral development banks.”
—Senate Testimony of Adolfo Franco,
USAID Assistant Administrator for
the LAC Bureau, March 2004
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF USAID/GUATEMALA
“I sincerely believe that our focus on rural basic education in Guatemala is
on target. Guatemala has among the lowest human development indica
tors in the Latin America and Caribbean region. USAID is investing in basic
education in Guatemala because we know that education is the keystone
to a stable society. Expanded and improved education is inextricably linked
to more equitable economic growth, reduced poverty, and strengthened
democracy and civil liberties—all of which Guatemala desperately needs.
Within the framework of basic education, I believe that our best return on
investment is improved and expanded girls’ education. An educated girl is
the keystone of development. We have seen the impact of education of
girls on critical health indicators such as reduced infant and maternal mor
tality. I am pleased to say that in the next strategy period USAID will focus
on increasing social sector investments to ensure primary education for all
children in Guatemala.”
—Glenn E. Anders
PART 1. BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Education Conditions in Guatemala. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
USAID Regional Strategy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
USAID/Guatemala: History and Strategies in Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
PART 2.ACTIVITY PROFILES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
PAEBI: Access to Intercultural Bilingual Education Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Proyecto Enlace Quiché (Quiché Networking Project) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
MEDIR: Measuring Educational Indicators and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Edumaya: University Scholarships, Community
Models of Education, and Adult Literacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Regional Projects: Centers of Excellence for Teacher Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
PART 3. IMPACTS, LESSONS, AND FUTURE PROSPECTS . . . . . . . . . . 19
Impact of USAID Education Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Lessons Learned/Best Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Education Sector Prospects in Guatemala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Future Directions for USAID/Guatemala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Students engaged in literacy train
ing, central San Juan Ostuncalco,
EDUCATION bility, urban concentration of resources,
CONDITIONS and ethnic and gender inequities. With
some of the worst education statistics
in the region, Guatemala faces enor
I n the past decade, and particularly
since the 1996 Peace Accords,1 the
Government of Guatemala (GOG) has
Net primary school enrollment has
risen substantially, from 72.0 percent in
1991 to 89.2 percent in 2003, though
made notable progress in extending
nearly two million children (ages 5–18)
education to improve opportunities for
still do not attend school. Few children
the country’s future generations.The are enrolled at the preschool (43 per
new administration of President Oscar cent), junior high (28 percent), and
Berger, who took office in January high school (16 percent) levels.
2004, has identified social Deficiencies in educational quality,
investment—including education—as related to poor teacher preparation
and insufficient resources, lead 76 per
one of his pillars2 contributing to the
cent of all rural children who enter
national goal of employment and well
first grade to drop out before com
being for all Guatemalan citizens. pleting primary school, which ends at
While this political commitment is key sixth grade.This situation is exacerbat
to future progress, the nation’s educa ed by poor health conditions, child
tion system is still characterized by malnourishment, and child labor, since
insufficient coverage, poor quality, cen many poor children must contribute to
tralized decision-making, little accounta their family’s income. Almost half of all
1 One of the longest and seemingly most intractable civil wars in Latin America was brought to an end by the signing
of the Peace Accords between the Guatemalan government and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca
in December 1996.
2 The other pillars consist of improving conditions for 1) production, 2) security, and 3) environmental sustainability.
3 For an excellent overview (in Spanish) of educational progress in Guatemala, see the Partnership for Educational
Revitalization in the Americas 2002 national “report card” at www.preal.cl/prog_educativo/RCGuatem.pdf.
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW 1
students fail first grade; these children needed for universal coverage and well
are more likely to fail again and even below the levels of other governments
tually drop out. in the region. Moreover, a large portion
of existing scarce resources was wast
At all levels of schooling, the poor—
ed in 2002, with 21.2 percent of the
particularly girls and rural indigenous
Ministry of Education budget spent on
children of both genders—have less
first grade inefficiency, and 42.4 percent
access to basic education.These gen
on overall inefficiency at the primary
der and cultural gaps are most pro
nounced by comparing the average
education levels of urban, nonindige Guatemala lacks mobilized constituen
nous males (8.0 years) with rural, cies capable of influencing government
indigenous females (1.2 years).Two education policy and resource alloca
thirds of Maya first graders are taught tion decisions, however, interest and
by teachers who neither understand commitment to education reform are
nor speak the children’s maternal lan emerging among government authori
guages, and only 19 percent of primary ties, civil society organizations, and
students have access to intercultural opinion leaders.This mobilization is a
bilingual education. strategic area to which
USAID/Guatemala will now dedicate
Though 60 percent of urban students
will complete third grade, only 30 per
cent of rural students will do so. Sixth
grade completion has minimally USAID REGIONAL
improved, and only 1 of 10 children STRATEGY
who enters 1st grade is promoted to
the 10th grade.This legacy persists
In response to dramatically reduced
throughout life, since primary educa
region-wide funding levels—from $190
tion is insufficient preparation for mod
ern jobs in the globalized economy, million in 1990 to $52.7 million in
and the average rural worker has been 2004—USAID education programming
schooled for only 2.1 years. Workforce in Latin America and the Caribbean
competition will only intensify in the (LAC) has shifted from large national
future, with passage of the Central programs to smaller, targeted geo
American Free Trade Agreement.
graphic areas and an emphasis on poli
The USAID/Measuring Educational cy dialogue. Bilateral mission education
Indicators and Results (MEDIR) project activities are based on four overarching
estimates the public financing needed regional objectives: improved access,
to address Guatemala's education
equity, efficiency, and quality.The LAC
problems is more than double the cur
Regional Education Program, based in
rent levels.4 In 2002, GOG education
sector expenditures accounted for USAID/Washington, supports initiatives
only 2.6 percent of gross domestic under the Summit of the Americas,5
product, far behind the investment the promotion of education reform in
4 USAID/MEDIR. 2003. Educación en Guatemala, Situación y desafíos: Retos para alcanzar educación para todos.
5 For background information on the Summit of the Americas, see www.usaid.gov/regions/lac/summit.html,
usinfo.state.gov/regional/ar/summit/, and www.americasnet.net.
2 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
the region, and the Intermediate USAID/GUATEMALA:
Results of 1) improved environment HISTORY AND
for education reform, 2) improved STRATEGIES IN
skills of teachers and administrators, EDUCATION
and 3) improved relevance and skills of
The U.S. government has been active
workforce. in Guatemala’s education sector since
the first cooperative agreement was
The four education programs in El established with the GOG in 1954.
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and USAID is currently the largest bilateral
Nicaragua now operate under the education donor. Activities over the
framework of the Central America and past five years have been guided by
two USAID Country Strategies—the Young woman writing in literacy notebook,
Mexico (CAM) Regional Strategy.The San Juan Ostuncalco.
first from 1997 through 2004 (extend
CAM strategy directs bilateral and
ed to coincide with the GOG’s Peace
regional USAID investment toward Calendar), and the latest from 2004
three performance arenas—just and through 2009.
democratic governance, economic
freedom, and investment in people— The previous strategy supported the
closely aligned with Millennium commitments to education reform
Challenge Account6 goals. As a result, presented in the 1996 Peace Accords,
USAID education activities in Central with particular attention to the indige
America are now centered on nous population who suffered most
during the nation’s 36-year civil war.
USAID activities were organized under
Improved access, quality, and effi
the Strategic Objective “a better edu
ciency of basic education.
cated rural society,” with the tenet that
Increased and more effective
increased access to quality educational
decentralized investments in
services in rural indigenous areas
would provide children with greater
Increased and more efficient
opportunity for eventual economic,
expenditures by ministries of
social, and political participation.
The establishment of private sec The strategy concentrated on key ele
tor alliances. ments of educational quality, access,
Greater community involvement efficiency, and equity, with special
in education. emphasis on multi/interculturalism and
Innovative approaches to gender equity. Projects were concen
increasing and improving educa trated in three areas: 1) increased
tional opportunities. access to intercultural bilingual educa
tion (IBE) in the Quiché department,
6 The Millennium Challenge Account is a Bush administration initiative to increase assistance to those developing
countries whose governments rule justly, encourage economic freedom, and invest in their people. For more on
this initiative, see www.mca.gov, www.usaid.gov/mca, and www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/developingnations/millenni
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW 3
2) greater educational services for Promoting effective advocacy, policy
rural communities, and 3) develop dialogue/reform, and key stakeholder
ment of policies sensitive to gender alliances will be essential to mobilizing
and cultural issues. more resources for improved educa
tion access, particularly in poor, rural
The 2004–2009 Guatemala Country indigenous areas. USAID assistance will
Strategy is narrower, reflecting the end also be used to leverage private sector
of Economic Support Funds7 for the and local funds for expanding basic
peace process.The overall resources education services and to increase the
available for education are lower, with active participation of civil society in
2004 funding ($2.6 million) only 29 decision-making and management.
percent of the total 1999 level. USAID/Guatemala has thus redefined
Development Assistance (DA) its primary objective from facilitating
Graduation ceremony, funding8 has remained relatively con on-the-ground service delivery and
Universidad Rafael Landívar. stant over this period, except for a pilot and demonstration projects to
one-year near doubling of DA funding fostering a stronger environment for
(awarded in recognition of good per the education sector as a whole.
formance) in 2003.
In the face of reduced funding, USAID OVERVIEW
has sought ways to tighten its belt.
Responding to the new CAM Regional
Part 2 of this report profiles four of
Strategy—which calls on USAID mis
USAID/Guatemala’s many projects. A
sions to move from service delivery to
policy reform efforts—education assis list of suggested reading about other
tance in Guatemala will now empha USAID projects in Guatemala—as well
size increased and improved social as more about the four projects fea
sector investments and transparency. tured herein—appears at the end of
Policy dialogue will be directed at this publication.
1) increasing public and private invest
ments in education, 2) improving the
The Proyecto Acceso a la Educación
efficiency of expenditures and equity
Bilingüe Intercultural (or PAEBI)
of resource allocation, and 3) expand
addresses the most significant obstacle
ing the decentralization of services.
to Maya children’s success in school—
Mission efforts will be concentrated at
the lack of academic instruction in
the national level to help the GOG
their native languages.The project
deliver effective educational services
teaches students to master the basic
(emphasizing improvements in the
language skills of understanding, speak
quality and efficiency of basic educa
ing, reading, and writing in their first
tion) and improve its legislation, poli
language—a proficiency that launches
cies, and strategies toward an account
them toward mastering the same skills
ability-based education system.
in Spanish. Proyecto Enlace Quiché has
sought to preserve and invigorate the
7 The Economic Support Fund is an appropriation account for funding economic assistance to countries based on
considerations of special economic, political, or security needs and U.S. interests.
8 Under chapters 1 and 10 of the Foreign Assistance Act, DA is designed primarily to promote economic growth
and equitable distribution of its benefits.
4 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Maya cultural and linguistic heritage of malan children benefiting from USAID
the Quiché region while empowering basic education programs. It lists 12
rural communities to move into the lessons learned from the various
modernized, information-based world. USAID/Guatemala projects, explaining
If you can’t measure your achieve (among many other things) that the
ments, you don’t know what they are; creation of learning environments
thus the MEDIR project (named for requires collaboration from all key
the Spanish word meaning “to meas actors (including students), that inter
ure”) has monitored and evaluated the cultural bilingual education increases
performance of bilingual schools enrollment and student achievement,
throughout 14 of Guatemala’s 22 and that teacher training programs
departments. Edumaya has sought to whose methodologies will benefit the
increase scholarship programs to teachers themselves are the programs
indigenous students. Finally, the Centers whose principles will survive when
of Excellence for Teacher Training teachers return to the classroom.The
(CETT) Program is improving reading section concludes with an overview of
instruction in grades 1–3. what USAID plans to achieve in
Guatemala by 2008 through concen
Part 3 spells out the impact of USAID
trating on social sector investments,
education activities in Guatemala over
transparency, and educational
the past five years, such as the 60 per
cent increase in the number of Guate
MESSAGE FROM USAID/GUATEMALA EDUCATION OFFICER
“We have accepted the monumental challenge of supporting Guatemala’s
implementation of the 1996 Peace Accords that mandate improved and
expanded access to education for rural indigenous peoples. The national
statistics, as disconcerting as they are, blur the real education story in
Guatemala, where more than 75 percent of rural indigenous women are
illiterate, where only 1 out of every 3 rural indigenous children goes to
school, and where fewer than 2 of every 10 rural indigenous children who
enter primary school graduate from sixth grade. USAID has been a trail
blazer in the education sector. USAID has led the donor response to
ensure quality primary education for all children, to reduce the significant
gender and ethnic gap, to improve passing and retention rates, and to
increase both public and private sector commitment to fundamental areas
such as bilingual and girls’ education. It is imperative that we continue to
support this critical sector that so profoundly affects all other areas of
—Julia Becker Richards
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW 5
ACCESS TO INTERCULTURAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION
PROYECTO ENLACE QUICHÉ
IMPROVING INTERCULTURAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION
THROUGH INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
MEASURING EDUCATIONAL INDICATORS AND RESULTS
UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS, COMMUNITY MODELS OF
EDUCATION, AND ADULT LITERACY
CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE FOR TEACHER TRAINING
ACTIVITY PROFILES 7
PROYECTO ACCESO A LA EDUCACIÓN BILINGÜE
ACCESS TO INTERCULTURAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION
Implemented by World Learning with Save the Children
Dates: April 1999 to March 2005
WHAT EDUCATION Several strategies are used to facilitate
PROBLEMS MUST the learning process: teacher training to
Students in Access to Intercultural BE ADDRESSED? better prepare them for work in a
Bilingual Education Project,
rural Quiché. Development challenges in the rural bilingual environment; development of
department of Quiché are substantial, culturally appropriate educational
with 96 percent of the population liv materials; promotion of parent/commu
ing in conditions of poverty.The overall nity participation in education and
illiteracy rate in Quiché is 60.4 percent school management; development of
(70.7 percent for women), compared an appropriate methodology for pre
with the national average of 29 per school children; helping foster better
cent. Most children begin school unable intercultural bilingual education (IBE)
to speak or understand Spanish—the policies and program coordination; and
country’s official language, which is increasing public awareness regarding
used in schools. Other challenges the importance of IBE.
include high primary school dropout,
poorly qualified teachers, and a severe WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE
shortage of materials. Additionally, few OF THE PROGRAM?
sixth grade graduates continue their The overall goal is to build a better
studies because they lack access. Junior educated rural population, with
high school net enrollment is 28 per emphasis on the Quiché department.
cent. PAEBI’s principal objective is to
improve the quality and equity of edu
WHAT IS USAID DOING cational services at the pre-primary
TO RESPOND? and primary levels, while also diminish
PAEBI responds to the need to ing schools’ failure rates (absenteeism,
improve the quality of education in desertion, and repetition) through
Quiché, where most people speak increased access to quality intercultural
either K’iche’ or Ixil as their first lan bilingual education. Activities are under
guage.The project is implemented in taken throughout Quiché, with special
cooperation with the Ministry’s attention on 300 model and pilot
General Directorate for Intercultural school communities—all aimed at
Bilingual Education and national non improving children’s learning.
governmental organizations (NGOs).
8 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ARE INVOLVED? Improve IBE-related educational
Training is based on a “cascade” policy on departmental, regional,
method, whereby technical coordina and national levels.
tors train field workers, who then
replicate the sessions in communities.
The following strategies were based
on field research and tested in the
school communities: WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?
The project has produced radio programs in Spanish, K’iche’, and
Ixil—as well as seven issues of the bilingual teachers’ magazine Ri
Train teachers, directors, Qatzij—to inform the school community about IBE experiences, best
Ministry of Education (MOE) practices, and successful instructional techniques. It produced two
videos to promote IBE, to be used as a methodological tool to train
administrators, parents, and bilingual teachers. PAEBI designed an educational software package for
teacher trainees in innovative first through third graders to make Mayan language instruction interac
tive and entertaining.The package was chosen among 800 multimedia
pedagogical strategies. projects for the United Nations World Summit Award for best e-con
tent and creativity.9
Design and produce IBE mod As a result of PAEBI, teachers’ attitudes and classroom practices have
ules, lessons, and materials rele improved.Women are participating more in the education process.
Preschool education is more robust. Parents are active participants in
vant to Maya students and their children’s learning both in school and at home.
The project has worked with more than 600 parent committees to for
tify their educational decision-making and with 4,000 leaders and 21,000
Increase community participa parents to increase their awareness in IBE. Parents’ participation is evi
tion in educational decision- dent by their concern for increased student retention and promotion,
improved understanding of the need for IBE, monitoring of teachers’
making processes, promoting performance, awareness of parents’ and teachers’ rights and responsibili
women’s leadership and parent ties, and organization of parents’ associations.
participation in school commit More than 1,500 primary and preschool teachers, principals, and MOE
tees. technical assistants and supervisors have been trained in IBE practices
through university-accredited diploma programs. Nearly 8,300 teachers
have been trained through short courses in IBE- and educational quality-
Pilot a set of low-cost and related topics. Preschool teachers have been trained in and are actively
using an integrated methodology and materials centered on traditional
easy-to-apply classroom strate Maya stories and cultural lore. More than 850 women have received
gies designed to reduce first training in school management and ways to support their children’s edu
grade student absenteeism, cation at home. Almost 600 women participate in literacy training pro
grams.These activities have increased women’s participation in school
repetition, and failure and to organizations and improved the support they provide their children with
increase learning and school schoolwork.
success. Promotion rates have increased significantly (from 51 percent to 66 per
cent in the first year) in the 51 rural schools selected to pilot Salvemos
Primer Grado (Save First Grade).Teachers now have tools to help
ensure accountability in the classroom.Trained in the use of classroom
management and hands-on educational materials, they now are much
better able to incorporate the children’s home language in their
9 World Learning for International Development. 2004.The Current (Winter), 7.
ACTIVITY PROFILES 9
QUICHÉ NETWORKING PROJECT
IMPROVING INTERCULTURAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION
THROUGH INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
Implemented by the Academy for Educational Development under LearnLink (phase 1);
Education Development Center with AED under Dot-EDU (phase 2)
Dates: January 2000 to February 2002; June 2002 to February 2004
Students in rural Quiché learning Funding: $1,000,381; $999,956
through information technology.
WHAT EDUCATION project that was meant to determine,
PROBLEMS WERE test, and demonstrate ways in which
ADDRESSED? information and communication tech
Home to 23 indigenous Maya, Xinca, nologies (ICTs) can support IBE.
and Garífuna cultures, Guatemala is
WHAT WAS THE OBJECTIVE
multiethnic, multicultural, and multilin
OF THE PROGRAM?
gual.Though many students start
school with little knowledge of Spanish, The purpose of Enlace Quiché in
fewer than 20 percent of schools offer Guatemala was to contribute to the
peace process by helping build a better
bilingual education.This mismatch is
educated rural society through
particularly pronounced in the Quiché
strengthening access to quality IBE in
department, where 86 percent of
Quiché.The overarching aspiration was
inhabitants are indigenous and repre to preserve and invigorate the Maya
sent at least nine distinct linguistic cultural and linguistic heritage of the
groups.The challenge was to ensure Quiché region while empowering rural
that educational policy and planning communities to move into the mod
were in line with the country’s multilin ernized, information-based world.The
gual and culturally pluralistic configura project objective was to strengthen
tion, particularly in those areas most the training of intercultural, bilingual
affected by years of armed conflict and educators through the use of ICTs. It
social exclusion. provided both physical and technologi
cal infrastructure to teachers and com
WHAT DID USAID DO munities to improve the quality of edu
TO RESPOND? cation through training and curriculum
development. Instruction was strength
To address multicultural differences
ened in Mayan language literacy and
while simultaneously teaching skills that
cultural concepts—as well as first- and
open opportunities in the global mar
second-language learning—to bridge
ketplace, USAID supported a pilot
the gap between home and school.
10 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The main components during the pro Professional development of
ject’s first phase (under educators and improved educa
USAID/LearnLink) and second phase tional quality through teacher
(under USAID/Dot–EDU) were: training in computer technology,
bilingual materials creation and
Preparing culturally sensitive production, and Maya culture
learning materials in K’iche’ and and language, as well as estab
Ixil and ICT educational materials lishment of a virtual bilingual
in seven Mayan languages. educator network.
Providing in-service teachers
with access to ICT tools to pro
duce early childhood develop
ment materials and training WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?
future teachers in bilingual
The project has sparked tremendous interest throughout Guatemala in the
instruction methods through the uses of technology. Many leaders in the bilingual education movement now
application of innovative multi endorse the need for ICTs, and there is growing interest in applying ICTs
media software. as tools to achieve social and educational goals. A total of 1,954 students,
teachers, parents, and partners were trained during phase 2.
Extending ICT access to rural Enlace Quiché fostered production of local materials through a host of
strategies. It built capacity in partner institutions (such as the Mayan
indigenous communities and Languages Academy of Guatemala) to create their own interactive digital
improved access to IBE and edu materials. It worked with teachers and students to create print and digital
materials in CETEBIs. In all, 14 CD–ROMs, four storybooks, two teacher
cational technologies for teach training guides, and various training materials were created during both
ers and community members phases of the project. A CD–ROM, designed for grades K–3, presents
interactive Maya cultural scenes that allow students to strengthen their
through the establishment of 12 native language use.The World Summit on the Information Society recog
fully operational Bilingual nized the program (developed in partnership with PAEBI) as one of the
Education Technology Centers of top digital contents in the world, bringing “a new dimension to bilingual
Excellence (CETEBIs), complete
with technical support. Mini-CETEBIs were opened in 16 rural elementary schools.This was done
as a joint project (see the aforementioned PAEBI project) to enable newly
trained teachers to apply their computer skills with students from grades
Establishing and equipping
K–6.The mini-CETEBIs were granted to the parent groups who oversee
the functioning of the schools. Fully equipped CETEBIs were established in
CETEBIs with interactive learn 12 teacher training schools for students in pre-service education programs
ing software in schools in and are open to the public after school hours. Initially supported by
USAID project funds, the centers are now financially and administratively
Quiché. independent based on income from user fees.
As a sustainability strategy, Enlace Quiché evolved from a USAID-funded
Increased dialogue and support
project to an independent Guatemalan NGO in 2003.The mission of
from the MOE for the integra Asociación Ajb’atz’ Enlace Quiché is to reach the full potential of human
tion of bilingual education tech capacity through the use of ICTs adapted to the local culture.The group is
building on Enlace Quiché’s momentum and expanding in new areas.
nology at the local, regional, and
ACTIVITY PROFILES 11
MEASURING EDUCATIONAL INDICATORS AND RESULTS
Implemented by American Institutes for Research with Juárez and Associates (phase 1); Juarez
and Associates (phases 2 and 3)
Dates: June 1998 to May 2003; July 2003 to November 2004; May 2004 to March 2005
Funding: $1,632,957; $859,255; $750,000
WHAT EDUCATION ing out applied research and M&E
PROBLEMS MUST activities in education, and 2) monitor
BE ADDRESSED? the performance of bilingual schools.
Student and MEDIR evaluator The catalyst for the project was a Activities are designed to improve and
at project in rural Quiché. demonstrated need to build the capac expand the dialogue on educational
ity of the education community in quality for underserved populations, to
monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and encourage positive changes in class
applied research, thereby providing the room practice, and to foster educa
basis for analyzing elements that affect tional policies that will lead to better
the performance and quality of the student performance.
Guatemalan education system and, in
particular, IBE. WHAT ACTIVITIES
WHAT IS USAID DOING The first phase of MEDIR10 led a five-
TO RESPOND? year effort to build the capacity of
MEDIR was designed to provide national, regional, and local administra
USAID and its governmental and tors, teachers, researchers, and other
NGO partners with useful information key stakeholders to assess individual
about the state of the Guatemalan and system performance in delivering
education sector and lessons learned bilingual education to Mayan children.
related to the impact of USAID- Phase 1 strengthened key organiza
Ministry of Education activities.The tions, especially the MOE’s Directorate
project directly supports USAID’s for Bilingual Intercultural Education
efforts to improve IBE in the Quiché (DIGEBI). While MEDIR’s geographic
department and other rural indigenous emphases are Quiché and other
departments and to promote better departments in which DIGEBI works,
education policies and strategies in its capacity-building and policy dialogue
Guatemala. work has reached national levels.
WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE
OF THE PROGRAM?
The overall goals of MEDIR (in
Spanish, “to measure”) are to
1) strengthen local capacity for carry
10 Under the Improving Educational Quality II Project.
12 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Major actions from 1998 to 2003 activities that support ongoing national
included: dialogue, advocacy, and constituency
building processes.This in turn builds
Evaluating bilingual and bicultural
on the project’s M&E and dissemina
education services offered in
tion strengths. MEDIR incorporates
Quiché; using the M&E work as a
many mutually reinforcing components:
pilot to replicate in other depart
reliable data and information genera
ments in which DIGEBI works.
tion; evidence-based policy analysis; and
information, education, and communi
Helping bilingual educators col
cation strategies to broadly dissemi
lect data on IBE school charac
nate data and information. Operations
teristics and performance indica
research includes 1) the determinants
tors; developing tools to meas
of first grade failure in rural schools,
ure education quality.
2) the effectiveness of the MOE’s edu
cation decentralization strategies at the
Strengthening the methodologi
community level, 3) learning achieve
cal capacity of IBE investigators
ment of boys and girls in first and third
and evaluators; developing a
grade, and 4) teachers’ proficiencies in
national IBE monitoring system.
basic skill areas.
Analyzing key statistical informa
tion; disseminating evaluation and
research findings for different WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?
audiences within the education
community. MEDIR has been a crucial information resource for a wide
range of entities involved in the education reform process, pro
moting both understanding of and support for gender equity
Producing and disseminating a and IBE efforts in Guatemala.The project has fostered a height
ened respect for the importance and application of research. It
CD–ROM and PowerPoint pres also has made an invaluable contribution to the coverage and
entation, “Education for All: Will quality of education services, particularly to underserved popu
We Arrive Where We Want to lations.
Go?”The policy dialogue tool A salient accomplishment is the creation of a national M&E sys
contains presentations designed tem to analyze bilingual education indicators.This system now
operates in 14 of Guatemala’s 22 departments.
for different audiences: educa
tors, researchers, NGO leaders, Public awareness of key education reform issues has increased,
thanks to MEDIR’s social communication efforts.The project has
media, private sector leaders, also successfully converted public resistance to support on criti
elected government officials. Each cal approaches to improving education indicators (e.g., IBE, gen
der equity, community/parent involvement in school manage
presentation is accompanied by ment). Moreover, organizations and leaders are now proponents
speakers’ notes. of education reform approaches they once opposed. One tangi
ble example of increased support for education reform was the
effective use of the data by commercial leaders to persuade the
Under the second and third phases11 National Advertising Council to direct a national 20-year cam
of MEDIR (2003–2005), USAID is paign on education as the first priority in Guatemala.
implementing education policy reform
11 The current phase is funded by USAID’s Office of Women in Development.
ACTIVITY PROFILES 13
UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS, COMMUNITY MODELS
OF EDUCATION, AND ADULT LITERACY
Implemented by Universidad Rafael Landívar (URL)
Dates: December 1997 to December 2004
WHAT EDUCATION WHAT WAS THE OBJECTIVE
PROBLEMS WERE OF THE PROGRAM?
The overall goal was to provide greater
Guatemala’s prolonged civil war dis access to education services for rural
Edumaya scholarship students. placed or made refugees of more than communities in the Peace Zone.12
a million people. Once the war ended, Scholarship students representing the
tens of thousands returned to country’s 24 ethnolinguistic groups have
Guatemala to reestablish their lives.The participated in 36 different university
Peace Accords mandated that educa degree programs at URL campuses
tion and training programs be imple throughout the country.Though the
mented to redress inequities, especially original target was to prepare 500 uni
for disenfranchised populations, and versity graduates, more than 1,200
provide the foundation for broad-based indigenous men and women completed
social, political, and economic participa university degree programs. Edumaya
tion. complements various other scholarship
programs supported by
WHAT DID USAID DO USAID/Guatemala.
USAID’s education strategy under its WHAT ACTIVITIES
Special Peace Objective supported the WERE INVOLVED?
commitments to education reform pre Promotion of community models
sented in the Peace Accords on the of schooling.
Rights and Identity of Indigenous
Peoples and the Accord on
Training of community promoters
Socioeconomic Aspects and the
to become certified pre-primary
Agrarian Situation. Activities were
and primary bilingual education
specifically designed to contribute to
the major expansion of educational teachers.
coverage mandated by the Accords, to
raise the quality of education, and to University scholarships for indige
increase the capacity of the Ministry of nous men and women to study in
Education. academic fields needed for the
12 After the Peace Accords, areas of the country that had suffered the greatest impact from the armed conflict were
collectively renamed the Peace Zone.
14 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
implementation of Peace video for facilitators.The inte
Accords mandates. grated community literacy
model is a welcomed approach
Outreach and leadership skills to literacy training in this post-
training for the program gradu conflict society where not only
ates to further their social, cul rural indigenous youth but also
tural, economic, and political par adults—especially women—can
ticipation at local and national get educational services to
levels. which they have never had
Implementation of a literacy
component based on integrated WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?
community literacy (ICL) Edumaya has opened access to higher education for members of 19 indige
methodology developed under nous ethnic groups and is attending to their socioeconomic needs. More
than 1,200 teachers have been trained through a university-accredited
the USAID-sponsored diploma program in IBE. Fifty adult education technicians have participated
Comunidades Mayas in a university-accredited bilingual literacy diploma program.Through
Edumaya, USAID is also helping expand educational access and improve the
Alfabetizadas13 (or COMAL) quality of education in returned refugee and other remote communities by
program.The literacy packages providing training for 380 community education promoters to receive cer
incorporated strategies to foster tification as rural primary and preschool teachers. In more than 500 rural
communities located in postconflict areas, teachers have received training
low desertion and high promo to introduce to their schools innovative education models that have
tion rates for youth and adult demonstrated more effective community involvement and increased stu
dent leadership. As a result, 65,000 indigenous boys and girls have access to
participants, especially women. a better education.
Highly participatory and based
To date, more than 1,100 indigenous students have graduated from univer
on participants’ experiences, ICL sity degree programs—an impressive 75 percent of enrolling students.
uses learner-generated materials These graduates have been trained and accredited in a range of subject
areas: IBE, social work, health, justice, and business. Graduates represent
and provides learners with basic extremely positive role models, with influence extending to the family
reading, writing, and math skills level, and with significant potential impacts within the broader community.
concurrently with empower Edumaya graduates, on an individual basis, will have long-term influence on
national-level issues related to social, cultural, political, and economic
ment, leadership, and community spheres of life.
development skills. Literacy and
Formation of the National Council for Professional Maya University
numeracy skills are taught in the Students—along with four regional associations—represents an institution
learner's maternal language at al structure with significant potential for developing continuing professional
development, networking opportunities, lobbying power, and social sup
the same time as oral Spanish port.These associations of Edumaya graduates teach leadership skills and
skills. Once proficiency is gained foster greater participation of students and alumni in political and social
in Spanish, the learner's second
language, the reading and math Some 40,000 books and texts with 70 new titles in 16 Mayan languages
have been developed for and distributed to indigenous youth, instructors
skills are taught in that language. for teacher training, and university students. In addition, 16 learner-focused
The ICL materials for initial and ICL materials have been developed and field-tested in two Mayan languages
follow-on literacy instruction are and Spanish.The ICL model has been applied in priority communities
through six NGO-literacy providers and institutionalized within the gov
written in K’iche’, Ixil, and ernment’s National Adult Literacy Committee. A variety of literacy delivery
Spanish and include a training organizations intend to use the youth and adult literacy materials in their
13 USAID project implemented by Save the Children from 1998 through 2002, at a cost of $6,518,847.
ACTIVITY PROFILES 15
CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE
FOR TEACHER TRAINING (CETT)
Implemented in Guatemala by Universidad del Valle
Dates: October 2002 to September 200814
Funding: $8,497,683 (to date)
WHAT EDUCATION the Caribbean, and the Andean region
PROBLEMS MUST BE of South America) to improve reading
ADDRESSED? instruction in the early primary grades.
The Central America and the
Educational achievement indicators for Dominican Republic (CADR) CETT is
Training of parents in
Sanarate, El Progreso. Latin America and the Caribbean led by a consortium of partners in the
(LAC) compare poorly with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
world’s other regions. In some LAC Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and
countries, fewer than 60 percent of Nicaragua. It is estimated that 15,000
children who start school reach the teachers and 500,000 students in
fifth grade, and illiteracy rates remain 1,000 primary schools will have bene
fited region-wide by 2006.
high.These educational gaps limit the
personal, economic, and civic potentials
of children and the communities in WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE
which they live. On a regional level, the OF THE PROGRAM?
economic competitiveness of Latin
America and the Caribbean is severely The goal of the initiative is to reduce
constrained. the high rates of illiteracy and school
underachievement in the region by
improving reading instruction in grades
WHAT IS USAID DOING 1–3. CETT activities are intended to
TO RESPOND? improve the pedagogical skills of teach
ers and administrators in the region
In view of these regional challenges, and to enrich early classroom instruc
President Bush announced a White tion so that students gain competence
House initiative at the Summit of the in reading and writing.To address equi
Americas in 2001 to establish three ty concerns, special emphasis is placed
teacher training centers (in Central on disadvantaged communities and
America and the Dominican Republic, rural areas.
14 Anticipated completion date.
16 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
WHAT ACTIVITIES Nicaragua) are responsible for devel-
ARE INVOLVED? oping a specific program component,
with materials, methodologies, and best
There are five major CETT program practices shared across the consortium
components: 1) teacher training, within the Central American context.
2) creation of teaching and learning Guatemala’s Universidad del Valle is
materials, 3) production of assessment leading the applied research compo-
and diagnostic tools, 4) applied nent and the development of diagnos
research, and 5) information and com- tic and assessment tools for the CADR
munication technology. Partner institu- CETT.
tions in each country (except
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED IN GUATEMALA?
CETT has advanced the design, reproduction, distribution, training, and
utilization of a wide variety of culturally appropriate training and educa
tional materials for both teachers and students.These materials include
tapes, CDs, and printed materials such as lesson plans, modules, and
reading and writing booklets.
To date, CETT has trained 1,038 school teachers, 245 administrators, 18
MOE officials, and 14 teacher trainers. A total of 365 schools and 37,600
students have benefited from these trainings. The trainings have includ
ed the IBE approach, reading and writing of Mayan languages, teaching
methodologies and techniques, practical classroom testing applications,
and integrated approaches to reading and writing. A total of 3,800 par
ents have been trained in CETT methodology, in helping their children
develop skills, and in supporting their children's teachers. Libraries and
other resources were supplied to classrooms for use by teachers and
students during classroom work.
Diagnostic and assessment tools have been developed and are in use.
This has allowed for complete school profiles, measurement of pre-
reading skills, and identification of learning difficulties and learning styles.
Also captured are while language and constructivist approaches, meas
ures of student performance for longitudinal studies, student progress,
and teacher self-evaluation.
Fully 65 percent of the CETT trained teachers are performing at a high
level, applying new methodologies and guiding children to reading and
writing with comprehension. Ninety-five percent of children in these
classrooms will be promoted to the second grade.Teachers are working
with the remaining 5 percent, ensuring that all are promoted to second
grade, far exceeding the national passing rate of 65 percent.
ACTIVITY PROFILES 17
IMPACTS, LESSONS, AND
IMPACT OF USAID Bilingual primary school dropout Spring school student, Ixcán, Quiché.
EDUCATION ACTIVITIES rates fell by two thirds, with the
biggest improvements in pre
U SAID has made a significant school and first grade.
impact on the education sector Net primary enrollment rose
over the past five years, particularly in from 59 percent in 1997 to 99
percent in 2003, while gross pri
the geographic areas where activities
mary enrollment15 went from
are centered. Overall, the number of
62.0 percent to 121.6 percent
children in schools directly affected by
over the same period.
USAID basic education programs (an The number of rural girls com
Agency-wide performance indicator) pleting third grade in three years
increased from 266,000 in 1999 to increased from 18.2 percent to
426,342 in 2003. Major achievements 35.4 percent.
and results are summarized below. The percentage of teachers
demonstrating mastery of IBE
INCREASED ACCESS TO
skills and methodologies nearly
quadrupled, from 14.6 in 1998 to
PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE
57.8 in 2003.
In 1998, only 10 percent of
More than 150,000 children have schools under study had school
benefited from a higher quality boards and education commit
education. tees with students’ parents par
Guatemala’s indigenous languages ticipating as members. By 2003
and cultures have been revital that percentage had risen to 53,
ized through the development of and 30,000 parents had been
a wealth of innovative intercul trained on issues related to chil
tural bilingual education (IBE) dren’s education.
materials in seven languages.
15 Gross primary enrollment is calculated as the total number of children enrolled in primary school divided by the IMPACTS, LESSONS, AND
total primary school age population (7–12). Rates can exceed 100 percent owing to the enrollment of underage
(6 years old) and overage (13 and older) children in primary school.
FUTURE PROSPECTS 19
GREATER ACCESS TO donor entities in the country.
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES IN With USAID assistance, public
RURAL COMMUNITIES OF THE
discussions and forums at the
local, departmental, and national
Since 1998, a total of 10,622 level with mayoral, congression
one-year (primary and second al, and presidential candidates
ary) and 2,136 university scholar were held during the election
ships were awarded. More than year.These efforts helped estab
1,100 indigenous scholarship lish education as a priority on all
recipients graduated from univer political party platforms, with
sity degree programs. commitments for increased
Evaluations show that scholarship budgetary resources for
recipients demonstrate increased education.
productivity, teamwork capacity,
and decision-making/problem LESSONS LEARNED/
First graders in Access to Intercultural
solving skills, and most now earn BEST PRACTICES
Bilingual Education Project.
higher salaries. Seventy-five per
Intercultural bilingual educa
cent of students have assumed
leadership positions in local or e
tion is a cost-effective educa
national-level organizations. tion delivery strategy for edu
cating rural indigenous children of
IMPLEMENTATION OF Guatemala. Through IBE, Mayan lan
EDUCATION POLICIES AND
STRATEGIES THAT ENHANCE guage-speaking children more readily
GENDER EQUITY AND enroll in school (and at younger ages),
CULTURAL PLURALISM they progress to higher primary grades
faster, and they stay in school more
Nineteen key policies and strate
gies were implemented over the years. Optimal effectiveness requires
five-year period, furthering edu community support, parental involve
cation reform for increased edu ment, well-trained teachers, application
cational access, quality, and equity. of child-centered methods, and direct
This included improvements to teaching of Maya culture, values, world-
the pre-primary, primary, and view, history, and mathematics.
teacher training curriculum and
some professional development Original interactive education
for 50,000 teachers. al materials can be created at
USAID, through primary and sec relatively low cost, even in
ondary research and analysis, p
remote and resource-poor areas.
compiled an excellent profile of Neither prior technological skills nor
the current state of education. sophisticated infrastructure is needed
This profile has facilitated nation
to implement an effective educational
al dialogue on education among
technology activity. However, integrat
governmental, civil society, and
ing technology into the curriculum and
20 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
teaching practices is a long process and ed programs that has led to regular
requires making pedagogy rather than student attendance, reduced dropout
technology the center of attention. rates, and highly acclaimed academic
should learn and develop the Policymakers and stakeholders
four basic language skills must pay close attention to
(understanding, speaking, reading, and the practical use of knowl
writing) in their first language as a basis edge that emerges from the research
for learning a second language. This on how to improve educational quali
also helps in achieving cognitive devel ty. Findings must be presented and
opment, positive self-esteem, and shared in user-friendly formats and
strengthened language/cultural identity. environments among teachers, parents,
Through the introduction of Spanish as students, community members, and
a Second Language, students can other people typically not involved in
become proficient in the four basic such reflections—as well as with
skills in both their first and second lan Ministry of Education policymakers.
guage by fourth grade.
Education policy cannot be
Plans for technology centers f
mandated by donor-funded
should be developed collabo projects; what projects can do
ratively by all relevant is assist in creating an environment that
actors—center managers, staff, teach enables policy change. An enviroment
ers, and students. Schools can cover a that enables policy change is one
significant share of project costs and where all stakeholders—Ministry staff,
minimal user fees can meet recurring practitioners, community members, as
operating costs and ensure sustainabili well as donors—have a say in the poli
ty. But this requires strong school com cies that are being decided. Regular
mitment and training in small business communication, open dialogue and
management, inventory controls, finan debate, recognition of the importance
cial record keeping, and preventive of tailoring responses to the local con
maintenance. text, and respect for each person’s
ideas help to ensure that all voices are
Scholarship programs have heard and that new policies reflect
opened the doors to educa local rather than donor needs and
tion at the primary, lower sec concerns.
ondary, and university levels for count
less indigenous children, youth, and When selecting policy dia
young adults. But it is the accompany logue partners, one must
ing academic, logistic, and emotional carefully assess the direct
support incorporated in USAID-fund interest in the desired policy change.
IMPACTS, LESSONS, AND FUTURE PROSPECTS 21
(Is the group a primary stakeholder? that the new tactic will benefit them
What does it have to lose if the policy personally, as well as their students and
is not changed? What does it gain if communities. Following the training,
the policy is changed?) Those who are teachers should receive the support
not direct stakeholders will likely be needed to carry out the new prac
ineffective partners, lacking either the tices. Absent such follow-up, teachers
genuine incentives for or commitment tend to return to their classrooms and
needed to stay the course of serious continue using materials and approach
change. es that they have always used.
Civil society organizations that EDUCATION SECTOR
most closely represent the PROSPECTS IN
Graduation ceremony for primary interests of parents and teach GUATEMALA
school teachers of intercultural
bilingual education, Petén.
ers tend to have little capacity for
advocacy —and virtually none at all to Guatemala passed a critical juncture in
act at the national level.Training in 2003 by holding the most participato
advocacy strategies and implementa ry election in its history. Oscar
tion must therefore be aimed at the Berger—a leader of social
local or regional level. reform—won the second round of
presidential elections and assumed
Policy reforms and deliv office in January 2004.The new admin
ery of quality educational istration enjoys strong support and a
services are intertwined. mandate to clean up government cor
Actions targeted directly at schools, ruption. Guatemalans are optimistically
classrooms, teachers, and children must waiting to see the changes President
accompany macro-level policy dialogue Berger promised: to rebuild the coun
and advocacy for improved education try, provide better working opportuni
quality and efficiency and increased ties, and promote general economic
education financing and accountability. prosperity. While hopes are high for
the new government, it faces a variety
Gender must surface as a of difficult challenges.These include ful
cross-cutting effort in all filling rising public expectations (such as
education efforts—in all implementation of the Peace Accords)
project designs, procurements, and with low government revenues, oper
evaluations—and be clearly evident ating within tight fiscal constraints, and
throughout project implementation. overcoming the nation’s stark gender,
ethnic, and rural/urban disparities.
Teacher training pro
grams are most effective The administration recently published
when they incorporate its principal sectoral priorities and
methodologies that convince teachers guidelines to orient public sector
22 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
actions through 2008. Social invest be promoted to advance these
ment, including education, is one of the objectives.
four “pillars” contributing to the overar
ching objective of employment and Though net primary enrollment in
Guatemala has increased dramatically
well-being of the population.The new
since 1977, the percentage of children
Minister of Education is concerned
completing primary school will not
with the inefficiencies in educational increase unless student flow rates
spending within the MOE and with the improve, particularly in the early grades
lack of transparency and accountability. where failure and repetition are still
Five ambitious goals lead the govern too high. USAID will therefore concen
ment’s 2004–2007 education plan: trate on increasing primary school
completion rates by promoting policies
1) universal pre-primary and primary
and actions to increase the quality and
coverage (integrating bilingual and
equity of education, reduce inefficiency
intercultural education), 2) educational (dropout and repetition), and increase
quality and classroom reform, 3) com children’s readiness for school. These Opening day festivities, Bilingual
munity participation, 4) education for efforts will help bridge the enormous Technology Center, Joyabaj, Quiché.
competitiveness, and 5) national and education gaps between rural indige
cultural identity. nous highland populations and the rest
of the country.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS An increase of school boards and
FOR USAID/GUATEMALA other education committees including
parents from 10 percent in 1998 to
To help achieve a better educated currently above 50 percent is remark
Guatemala, the USAID Mission will able. But to foster more equitable
resource allocation and more cost-
concentrate over the next five years
effective use of public/private sector
on social sector investments. Because
funds to achieve broadly shared educa
funding is unlikely to increase, and in tion goals, USAID will strengthen stake
response to the Central America and holders’ capacity to engage in policy
Mexico Regional Strategy to move dialogue to ensure technically sound,
from service delivery to policy reform, efficient, and transparent investments in
the LAC Bureau and the Mission will the social sector. USAID will also
finance analyses and promote best
seek to be cost efficient and have
practices that support decentralization
broad-ranging impact by concentrating
of social services.
on policy reform. Policy dialogue in
education will aim to increase public Technical and financial assistance will be
provided to the MOE at central and
investments in the sector, improve
local levels to develop and implement
accountability of education delivery,
policy reforms aimed at increasing
manage effective decentralization of accountability and improving basic edu
services, and increase the quality, effi cation quality, equity, efficiency, and rele
ciency, and equity of government pro vance.The program will finance the
grams. Private sector partnerships will development of standards and assess-
IMPACTS, LESSONS, AND FUTURE PROSPECTS 23
ments and a national system of to increase coverage and educational
research and evaluation, teacher and quality. Specifically, USAID anticipates
administrator training, curricular achieving the following macro-level
reforms, and policies and actions for results by 2008, in collaboration with
improving classroom the GOG:
performance—especially in early
grades. USAID will support public-pri An increase in public expendi
vate partnerships to help finance and tures on education.
improve education and increase access A reduction in the first grade fail
to basic education services. ure rate.
An improvement in the third
Progress will be reflected in the gov
grade completion rate.
ernment’s greater commitment to
An increase in the primary net
social sector investment, since
improved allocation of the budget and
reduced inefficiencies in public educa
tion investment will free up resources
24 UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
For more on PAEBI, see the following reports/Web sites: Monitoring System for DIGEBI Bilingual Intercultural Education
(Rubio, Fernando, Justo Mactzul, and Rigoberto Vasquez. 2002.
Also available in Spanish. USAID Document PN-ACT-155).
Manual de Participación Comunitaria (PAEBI. 2002. Guatemala).
IEQ Case Study: Research for Improving Bilingual Education in
Guía para la Aplicación de la Escala de Desarrollo del Niño y de la
Bilingual Settings (Rubio, Fernando, Rigoberto Vasquez, and
Niña K'iche'; Guías de Materiales para Apoyar la Educación Hipolito Hernandez. 2002. in Pathways to Quality. IEQ
Bilingüe Intercultural; Guías para el Uso de Materiales Didácticos II/USAID/EGAT. Washington).
Producidos por PAEBI; Diseños para Capacitar Docentes, Padres
y Madres de Familia (PAEBI. 2004a. Guatemala).
Kemow Eta'manik Tejiendo el Aprendizaje (PAEBI. 2004b). For more on Edumaya, see the following reports and Web sites:
Manual para Promocionar y Fortalecer la Participación de la Mujer
dentro del Proceso Educativo de sus Hijos e Hijas (PAEBI. 2004c). www.url.edu.gt/defaultprincipal.htm.
Weaving Our Learning (Ramirez-de-Arellano, Julio. 2003. CIES Evaluation of Edumaya Program and Impact on Its Graduates
Conference Paper. New Orleans, Louisiana). (Martin, L., and N. Grimm. 2003. Cleveland, Ohio: K'inal Winik
Education Development in Guatemala: Promoting a Strategy for Cultural Center, Cleveland State University).
National Change (Wolff, Laurence. 2003. Washington: Creative Edumaya Sistematización del Componente de Modelos
Associates International, Inc./Basic Education and Policy Support Innovadores de Educación Comunitaria (Proyecto Edumaya of
Activity [BEPS]). USAID/G-CAP. 2004).
Indigenous Education in the Americas: School for International Edumaya: Diez Historias de Vida (Proyecto Edumaya of USAID/G
Training (World Learning, Inc. 2003. Occasional Paper, Issue No. 4. CAP and Universidad Rafael Landivar. 2003. contract No. 520-A
Vermont. Available at www.sit.edu/publications/docs/ops04.pdf). 00-98-00013-00. Editorial Serviprensa, S.A. Guatemala).
Edumaya: Apoyando el Futuro en el Presente (USAID and
Universidad Rafael Landivar. 2003. DVD produced by the
For more on the Quiche Networking Project, see the following reports Communications Experience).
and Web sites:
Digital Opportunities for Development: A Sourcebook on Access For more information on the Centers of Excellence for Teacher
and Applications (Academy for Educational Development. 2003. Training, see the following report and Web sites:
USAID Document PN-ACT-484).
Dot-EDU home page (dot.edu.org).
Centers of Excellence for Teacher Training (CETT): A Summit of
Proyecto Enlace Quiche home page (www.enlacequiche.org.gt).
the Americas Initiative Information Packet (Creative Associates
LearnLink home page (learnlink.aed.org).
International Inc. 2003. Document No. PNACY696 on
Invigorating Mayan Language, Culture, and Education (Lieberman,
Andy. 2003. AID/USAID. Available at
For more on other USAID projects in Guatemala, see the following
reports and Web sites:
Using ICT Tools to Support Intercultural Bilingual Education
(USAID. 2004. Final Report under the Dot-EDU/Guatemala proj Description and Analysis of the USAID Girls' Education Activity in
ect. USAID Document PD-ABZ-798). Guatemala, Morocco, and Peru (Brush, Lorelei, and Cory
Heyman. 2002. USAID Document PN-ACP-189).
For more on MEDIR, see the following reports: Informe Evaluación del Programa de Becas para Niñas del Area
Rural en Guatemala (Delfino, M.A. 1999).
The Status of Primary Education in El Quiche in Relation to Other Empresarios por la Educación (2003). A proposal in support of
Departments Served by DIGEBI and to Guatemala as a Whole education.
(Chesterfield, Ray, Fernando Rubio, and Juarez and Associates. CIEN home page (www.cien.org.gt).
1998. Report prepared for USAID and MOE. USAID Document www.educategirls.com.
PN-ACK-716. Guatemala). EQUIP 2 home page (www.equip123.net/equip2/index_new.html)
Study of Bilingual Education Graduates in Guatemala (Chesterfield, www.empresariosporlaeducacion.org.
Ray, Fernando Rubio, and Rigoberto Vasquez. 2003. USAID GEMS Guatemala Country Study (Juarez and Associates. 2002.
Document PN-ACU-137). Prepared for USAID Contract No. LAG-C-00-99-00042-00.
Trends in Bilingual Education in El Quiche: A Five-Year Study USAID Document PN-ACX-064).
(Juarez and Associates. 2003. Report prepared for USAID and
Educación para Todos (MEDIR/USAID. 2001. CD ROM presenta
tion. USAID Document PN-ACU-113).
Teacher Language Proficiency, Training, and Language Use (Rubio,
Fernando. 2002. Paper presented at the annual meeting of
Comparative and International Education Society. Orlando,
Florida. USAID Document PN-ACT-153).
Contract# HNE–00–00–00038-00 LAC Task Order #26
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