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Compulsory Education Age

6–17 years old

Legal Status

Schooling is compulsory until high school, as established in Article 81 of the Political Constitution of the Pluractional State of Bolivia. However, the regulations explicitly recognize areas for non-school education and the primary role of the family and communities. Below we offer detail of the Bolivian legal framework and its relationship with non-school education practices.

The Political Constitution of the Pluractional State of Bolivia in the First Part on Fundamental Bases of the State, Rights, Duties and Guarantees, Title II of Fundamental Rights and Guarantees, destines Chapter VI to Education, Interculturality and Cultural Rights. Art. 77 provides that "the education system includes regular education, alternative, and special education, and higher education professional training." Art. 78 recognizes education as "unitary, public, universal, democratic, participatory, community, decolonizing, and quality." It also establishes that "education is intracultural, intercultural and plurilingual." Art. 81, as already stated, establishes the "compulsory nature of education up to the high school."

For the practice of home education, what is established by Art. 83 is very important, as it recognizes and guarantees social, community and parent participation in the education system. Article 88 also recognizes the right of mothers and fathers to "choose the education that is appropriate for their daughters and sons." Another interesting point in the Constitution is the provision in Art. 90 regarding the promotion by the State of the creation and organization of "distance and popular educational programs not schooled."

On the other hand, the current Education Law "Avelino Siñani - Elizardo Pérez" establishes compulsory schooling but recognizes the role of great importance to families and communities. Specifically, Art. 8 establishes the "Regular Education Subsystem" that includes "Initial Community Family Education" where the family and the community are recognized and strengthened as the first space for socialization and learning.

The same regulation creates the "Subsystem of Alternative and Special Education" (Articles 16 to 27) that is designed to meet the educational needs and expectations of individuals, families, communities, and organizations that need to continue their studies or that require ongoing training in and for life. It is developed within the framework of the approaches of Popular and Community Education, Inclusive Education and Education throughout life, and establishes that "the . . . knowledge, and experiences of people, acquired in their daily and community practice, will be recognized and approved at levels and modalities that correspond to the Subsystem of Alternative and Special Education" (Art. 18).

Within the chapter on Alternative and Special Education, Section I is intended for Alternative Education. Within this Section in Art 24., the law introduces the "Non-schooled Permanent Education" and establishes that "it is intended for the entire population and offers out-of-school training processes that respond to needs, expectations and interests of organizations, communities, families, and individuals, in their socio-community, productive and political formation". It also establishes that the training processes within the framework of this subsystem will be certified, following compliance with requirements established by the Ministry. The same articles create a specialized institution dependent on the Ministry of Education, for the training and accreditation of permanent educational processes not directed to organizations, communities, families, and individuals, and it establishes that its operation will be regulated by the Ministry of Education.

On the other hand, within the section "Curricular organization, administration and management of the pluractional education system", we find Chapter IV that deals with "Community Social Participation" and defines it as the instance of participation of social actors, community actors, mothers and parents with representation and legitimacy in the educational field and policy.

The above text (with minor editing) is taken directly from OLASE - Observatorio Latinoamericano de Aprendizajes sin Escuelas

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Homeschooling in Bolivia


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