Education Challenges in Chad

Written by Vasthy Katalay

The social situation in Chad has never remained the same since the passing of the Corona Virus Pandemic at the end of the year 2019. The Chadian population has been experiencing various social difficulties leaving families to their own faith (UNICEF, 2023). In fact, parents have seen their households’ and loved ones’ basic needs consistently overlooked and denied as time went by. These basic needs inclusively concern safety, shelter, food, proper healthcare, and basic education following the reports made by UNICEF (2023).

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2022) affirms that the socio-economic situation and political instability play a significant role in the current condition.        The challenge regarding Chad’s education sector has persisted for more than four years. It has been proven that seven in ten children aged 18 years and younger do not have access to any schools or learning facilities in Chad (World Bank, 2022 & UNHCR, 2022).     The UNHCR (2022) additionally attests that the perpetration of armed conflicts in the Lake Chad Basin has been contributing highly to the worsening of the education condition in Chad. This is because it restrains any humanitarian aid that may come from both local or international organisations due to the lack of security in the surrounding environments.

Assidick Choroma, Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion of Chad, and Alice Albright, GPE CEO, met students and teachers at the Lycée-Collège féminin bilingue d’Amruguebe school for girls in N’Djamena. The school welcomes 1500 girls and has 80 teachers, including 30 women. It provides education in Arabic and in French. Chad, February 2019
Photo by: GPE/Carine Durand

Consequently, 1.4 million children lack basic educational assistance while 360 000 struggle to access social protection services (OCHA, 2022). More than fifty per cent of children are incapable of accessing primary school education (INSEED & UNICEF, 2019). These statistics have been confirmed by the Humanitarian Needs Overview (2022), which attests that the number of children who need educational support increased by 8% in 2022. Although the conditions are not met, UNICEF has been making considerable efforts toward promoting and providing 85,600 formal and non-formal opportunities (UNICEF, 2023). This is being implemented through and with the help of the Chadian government’s local and national support coordination.

These efforts have resulted in the continuous educational support of 120,437 children, including girls, who represent 43% of the beneficiaries, according to UNICEF (2022). This was the result of both on-site and remote intensive learning programmes, schools’ rehabilitations, and some psychosocial support provided to children with disabilities. The World Bank equally joined hands in contributing to upgrading learning facilities and conditions in Chad. This is being achieved through various development programmes that benefit the school’s pedagogical and managerial staff for a period of five years (World Bank, 2022).

Research attests that the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has evenly partaken in providing massive and continuous school attendance in various refugee camps in Chad. This endeavour is made regardless of the minimal financial and logistical support. UNESCO partially contributed to this cause through its involvement in the improvement of conditions in both existing and new formal and non-formal teaching and learning facilities. UNESCO thus set up two successful emergency development projects destined to upgrade the quality of the educational sector in a bid to minimise drop-outs and child marriage and labour. These projects are known as PREAT and PUREAT because they both plan and organise the implementation of ideas into practical actions (PREAT, 2019-2023 & PUREAT, 2021-2023). These projects have been involved in the translation of teaching documents from French into both Chadian Arabic and Sar, which are the popular languages spoken in the country.

The concerned projects have been working progressively well so far as they have allowed teachers to use national languages to favour pupils’ teaching process. Consequently, young and older pupils unable to understand or speak French may still have access to learning facilities and knowledge ((PREAT, 2019-2023 & PUREAT, 2021-2023). This strategy has proven to have increased the number of literates in both formal and non-formal educational facilities in the concerned country in accordance with the projects’ reports.

Quality education is the key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) among all SDGs and thus constitutes a crucial sector in realising the remaining goals (Katalay et at., 2022).         In fact, SDG 4 secures the inclusivity and equity of quality education for each and every child. This is because, being born equal, every child has got the universal right to education regardless of their origins, colour of skin, religious beliefs, family backgrounds, age frame, or gender. Access to quality education has been revealed to be a vital pattern in individuals’ lifelong self-actualisation and poverty reduction all over the World (Katalay et al., 2022).

Katalay et at. (2022) carried out qualitative research that reviewed the educational challenges faced at different levels of understanding: global, continental, and local. Its results have indeed affirmed that the availability of quality learning facilities and affordable school fees were patterns in the increased school attendance rate in various African counties. Building affordable quality schools and vocational training centres in Chad may thus encourage parents and guardians to send their loved ones to acquire knowledge (Katalay et al., 2022). Research shows that education truly allows every citizen of a given nationality to be an added hand in both the socio-economic and political developments of their respective environments. This confirms that it is only through education that the remaining SDGs may be achieved in Chad (Katalay et al., 2022 & UNICEF, 2023).

The vocational training centre offers youths 9-month training courses on a specific trade. At the end, trainees receive equipment to set up their own business. In this photo, a young man is supervised by his teacher in the mechanics room, devoted mostly to motorbikes, the most common vehicle in this area of Chad. © 2018 European Union (photo by Dominique Catton)

Some research attested that individuals with low or without formal education or training are exposed to real-life struggles to provide basic needs in Africa (Katalay et al., 2022). This explains why the educated have more chances of finding employment than the less or non-educated.  The knowledge of those who are educated guarantees them access to various employment opportunities within their areas of specialisation. Schools and vocational training centres will equip individuals with some required skills and knowledge that will enable them to get various well-paid jobs and provide basic needs at home.

This is to say that less or non-educated individuals are more exposed to a lack of employment opportunities and thus incapable of providing for their families and loved ones. This is because their resources will be limited, and so will their access to various basic needs. These needs include the daily provision of shelter, food, proper healthcare, and education.         In light of this, education seems to be the crucial element that provides the Chadian government with capacities to fully participate and contribute to improving their social services. Improving these services would consistently and continuously make the lives of as many individuals as possible better and worth living (Katalay et al., 2022 & UNESCO, 2023).

Additionally, inclusive education for both men and women has proven to play a crucial role in abolishing various sociocultural mindsets and practices (Katalay et al., 2022). These involve female children being denied access to education, female genital mutilation (FGM), gender inequality in workplaces, women being abused, and child marriage and labour. Reports have revealed that poverty is the cause and consequence of the daily perpetration of social vices and inequalities in Chad (OCHA, 2021).

Poverty limits access to education, standard shelter, food, healthcare, clean water, constant electricity, and sanitary facilities as it increases the number of refugees. Inversely, all these social problems joined together seem to be partaking in upgrading the poverty level in many African countries, including Chad (World Food Program, 2023).

Research has shown that the poverty level in the African continent, in general, and in Chad, in particular, has been the cause of the stagnant situation of the education sector. This is because the lack of security and peace in various neighbouring countries has aggravated and increased the number of refugees in Chad. This makes the situation more difficult to handle since Chad has already been struggling to provide essential social services for its citizens.       In addition, the security or safety around Lake Chad has not been helping the current situation due to the danger to which both the population and humanitarian organisations are exposed. Six in ten parents have expressed their fear of sending their children to schools or vocational training centres, given the low-security measures taken in their surrounding environments.

In conclusion, several factors have recently been worsening the quality development of the education sector in Chad. It has been proven that socio-economic and political instabilities have contributed highly to the poverty level in multiple sectors. This situation has been affecting nearly half of the Chadian population.  The downgrading of the education sector in Chad has left families and households in a daily dilemma consisting of either providing food or sending their children to schools and centres. This explains why individuals in the country have limited access to other basic social human needs. These limited or lack of basic human needs leave parents and children denied a roof over their heads, food, clean water, electricity, health treatment, and basic education.


  1. Education Cannot Wait Team (2022), Chad Overview Development. Retrieved from &
  2. Inseed & UNICEF (2019). MICSE Chad Final Report in Djamena, Chad.
  3. Jesuit Refugee Service (2023). The Challenge of Accessing Education for Sudanese Refugees in Chad. Retrieved from
  4. OCHA (2021), Strengthening Girls’ education in Chad. Retrieved from
  5. UNESCO (2023). The PREAT 2019-2023 and PUREAT 2021-2023 Projects in Chad. Retrieved from
  6. UNHCR, (2019 & 2022).
  7. UNICEF, (2019, 2022 & 2023). Retrieved from
  8. World Bank (2022), Chad to Improve Learning Outcomes in Basic Education. Retrieved from &
  9. World Food Program (2023). Retrieved from

Educational Challenges in Libya

Written by Joseph Kamanga


Libya is a North African country with a turbulent history of political instability and armed conflicts. Education is a fundamental pillar of any nation’s development, and overcoming these challenges is crucial for fostering a brighter future for Libya’s citizens.

Historical Context of Libya’s Education System

To understand the current state of education in Libya, it is essential to consider its historical context. During the rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the education system primarily focused on ideological indoctrination rather than academic excellence. This approach neglected critical thinking and innovation, resulting in an education system that failed to equip students with the necessary skills for personal and professional growth.

Historical Context of Libya’s Education System

Under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule, the curriculum promoted the regime’s propaganda and political agenda, neglecting critical thinking, innovation, and academic rigour. As a result, students lacked the necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world and contribute to the nation’s development.

Impact of Political Instability and Armed Conflicts

The political instability and armed conflicts that ensued after the Arab Spring in 2011 severely impacted Libya’s education system. Educational institutions became targets of violence, leading to damaged infrastructure and disrupted learning environments. Many schools and universities were forced to close, and students and teachers were displaced. Consequently, educational progress was hindered, resulting in high dropout rates and limited access to education, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Inadequate Infrastructure and Resources

Decades of neglect and underinvestment have left Libya’s educational infrastructure in dire conditions. Many schools lack sufficient classrooms, face overcrowding, and lack basic amenities like electricity, water, and sanitation facilities. Dilapidated buildings and insufficient resources create an unsuitable learning environment for students. Furthermore, there is a shortage of educational resources, including textbooks, teaching materials, and modern technology, limiting students’ access to quality education.

Teacher Shortage

Libya’s ongoing turmoil and economic challenges have triggered a significant brain drain, with highly educated professionals and skilled teachers leaving the country in search of better opportunities and security. This exodus has resulted in a severe shortage of qualified teachers, with many classrooms staffed by inexperienced or underqualified individuals. The lack of well-trained and experienced educators compromises the quality of education and impedes the development of students’ intellectual capacities.

Gender Inequality in Education

Gender inequality remains a persistent challenge in Libya’s education system. Although efforts have been made to promote gender parity, cultural and societal norms continue to pose obstacles. Girls face multiple barriers to accessing education, including early marriage, gender-based violence, and conservative attitudes towards women’s education. Many families prioritize boys’ education over girls’, perpetuating gender disparities. Addressing these challenges requires targeted interventions, such as awareness campaigns, community engagement, and policies that promote and protect girls’ right to education. Empowering girls through education enhances their prospects and contributes to societal development and gender equality.

Challenges faced by Children with Disability in Libya

Disabled children in Libya face significant challenges in accessing quality education and experiencing inclusive learning environments. This section will explore the educational challenges specific to disabled children in Libya and discuss potential strategies to address these issues.

Limited Access to Inclusive Education:

One of the primary challenges for disabled children in Libya is the limited access to inclusive education. Many schools lack the necessary infrastructure, resources, and trained personnel to accommodate students with disabilities. As a result, disabled children often face barriers to entry, preventing them from accessing education on an equal basis with their non-disabled peers.

Discrimination and Stigma:

Discrimination and stigma against disabled individuals persist in Libyan society, leading to exclusion and marginalization. Negative attitudes and misconceptions about disabilities contribute to a lack of acceptance and understanding within educational settings. Disabled children may face social barriers, prejudice, and bullying, further hindering their educational experiences and well-being.

Inadequate Teacher Training:

The lack of specialized training for teachers to cater to the diverse needs of disabled students is a significant challenge. Teachers often lack the knowledge and skills to adapt teaching methodologies, provide appropriate accommodations, and employ assistive technologies to facilitate inclusive learning. Consequently, disabled children may not receive the individualized support and reasonable adjustments necessary for their educational success.

Limited Availability of Support Services:

Support services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support, are limited in Libya. Disabled children require these services to enhance their communication skills, motor development, and emotional well-being. The scarcity of these services hampers the holistic development of disabled students and impedes their educational progress.

Inaccessible Physical Infrastructure:

Many educational institutions in Libya lack accessible physical infrastructure, making it difficult for disabled children to navigate school premises independently. The absence of ramps, elevators, accessible toilets, and sensory-friendly classrooms creates barriers to mobility, participation, and overall engagement in the learning process.

Limited Availability of Assistive Technologies:

The availability of assistive technologies, such as hearing aids, Braille devices, and screen readers, is limited in Libya. These technologies are crucial in enabling disabled children to access information, communicate effectively, and participate fully in educational activities. The lack of access to these technologies significantly hinders the educational opportunities of disabled students.

Inadequate Policy Framework:

The absence of a comprehensive policy framework addressing the educational needs of disabled children contributes to the challenges they face. Clear policies and guidelines are essential to ensure inclusive education, promote anti-discrimination measures, allocate resources, and enforce accountability at all levels of the education system.

Educational workshop. Photo by Saleh Deryag

Strategies to Address the Challenges:

Curriculum Reforms and Quality Assurance

Revitalizing the curriculum is vital for modernizing Libya’s education system and equipping students with the skills needed for the 21st century. Curriculum reforms should emphasize practical and vocational training, fostering creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and digital literacy. Updating the curriculum to align with global educational standards and labour market demands can enhance students’ employability and entrepreneurial skills. Additionally, establishing a robust quality assurance framework to monitor and evaluate educational institutions will ensure that students receive a high standard of education. Regular assessments, teacher training, and accreditation mechanisms can promote accountability and quality in the education system.

Promoting Access to Education

Expanding access to education is crucial for addressing disparities in educational opportunities. Particular attention should be given to marginalized and remote areas with limited access to quality education. Investing in developing educational infrastructure in these regions, including schools, libraries, and educational centres, is essential. Additionally, providing financial assistance, scholarships, and grants to students from disadvantaged backgrounds can help mitigate financial barriers that hinder access to education. Promoting inclusive policies that ensure access for children with disabilities and those from displaced or refugee backgrounds is also crucial in fostering a more equitable education system.

Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Promoting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is essential for equipping students with practical skills aligned with the job market’s needs. Collaboration between educational institutions, private sector industries, and government entities can help design and implement relevant TVET programs. Providing students with opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and hands-on training can bridge the gap between education and employment. Moreover, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within the TVET framework can foster economic growth and self-employment opportunities.

Enhancing Teacher Training and Professional Development

Addressing the teacher shortage and improving the quality of education requires a focus on teacher training and professional development. Providing pre-service and in-service training programs can enhance teachers’ pedagogical skills, content knowledge, and classroom management abilities. Additionally, mentoring programs, peer-to-peer learning, and continuous professional development opportunities can support teachers’ growth and keep them updated with modern teaching methodologies and technology. Recognizing and incentivizing the teaching profession through competitive salaries and career advancement opportunities can also attract and retain qualified educators.

Addressing Socio-Economic Disparities in Education

Socio-economic disparities significantly impact access to quality education in Libya. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds face numerous challenges, including poverty, limited resources, and lack of educational support. To address these disparities, targeted interventions are necessary, including implementing inclusive education policies, providing comprehensive support services, offering school feeding programs, and investing in early childhood education. Collaboration with local communities, NGOs, and international organizations can contribute to creating a more equitable educational landscape.

Leveraging Technology for Educational Advancement

Integrating technology in education can overcome geographical barriers, enhance learning outcomes, and provide access to various educational resources. Investing in digital infrastructure, such as internet connectivity and computer labs, can enable the integration of e-learning initiatives through digital tools and platforms in classrooms.

Developing Inclusive Education Policies: Libya should develop and implement inclusive education policies that emphasize the rights of disabled children to access quality education on an equal basis with their peers. These policies should promote inclusive practices, reasonable accommodations, and the integration of disabled students into mainstream schools.

Providing Teacher Training and Professional Development: Invest in specialized training programs to enhance teachers’ knowledge and skills in catering to the needs of disabled students. Training should focus on inclusive teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, and assistive technologies.

Improving Infrastructure and Accessibility: Upgrade existing educational facilities to ensure accessibility for disabled children. This includes providing ramps, elevators, accessible toilets, and sensory-friendly learning spaces. New constructions should follow universal design principles to ensure inclusivity from the outset.

Strengthening Support Services: Increase the availability of support services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support within educational institutions. This includes training and employing specialists to provide individualized support to disabled students.

Promoting Awareness and Sensitization:

Conduct awareness campaigns to challenge societal stereotypes, reduce discrimination, and promote inclusivity. These campaigns can target schools, communities, and the media, raising awareness about the rights and abilities of disabled children and fostering a more inclusive mindset.

Enhancing Collaboration and Partnerships:

Promote collaboration between government bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and disability rights organizations to address the educational challenges faced by disabled children. This collaboration can help in resource mobilization, sharing best practices, and advocating for the rights of disabled children within the education sector.

Integrating Assistive Technologies:

Invest in the procurement and distribution of assistive technologies to enable disabled children to access educational materials and participate fully in learning activities. Collaborate with technology providers and organizations to ensure assistive devices and software availability and affordability.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the progress of inclusive education initiatives for disabled children. Regular assessments can help identify gaps, measure the effectiveness of interventions, and inform policy development and implementation.

International Support and Cooperation:

Seek international support and cooperation to address the educational challenges faced by disabled children in Libya. Collaborate with international organizations and donor agencies to access funding, expertise, and resources for implementing inclusive education programs.


Addressing the educational challenges faced by both the non-disabled and disabled children in Libya requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses policy reforms, teacher training, infrastructure improvements, support services, awareness campaigns, and collaboration among stakeholders. Efforts towards inclusive education not only benefit disabled children but also contribute to the overall development and inclusivity of Libyan society as a whole. By prioritizing inclusive education and fostering an enabling environment, Libya can ensure disabled children have equal opportunities to access quality education, realize their potential, and actively participate in society.


Elzawi, A., & Fadel, K. (2020). Challenges facing education in Libya: An analysis of the educational system during and after the revolution. Journal of Education and Practice, 11(6), 1-9.

UNICEF. (2019). Education in Libya: Situation analysis and strategic framework. Retrieved from

Alaedeen, E. (2017). Education for children with disabilities in Libya: Policy, legislation, and challenges. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 21(4), 392-404.

Mundy, K., & Sharpe, A. (2016). Education and state-building in Libya: Between restoration and revolution. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 46(6), 868-891.

European Union External Action. (2019). Education in Libya. Retrieved from

Abdelsalam, R., & Keshavarz, M. (2021). Educational development in post-revolution Libya: A critical analysis of challenges and prospects. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 9(2), 11-26.

Save the Children. (2018). Barriers to education for children in Libya. Retrieved from

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United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). (2017). UNSMIL Human Rights Report on Civilian Casualties – January to June 2017. Retrieved from

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Human Rights Watch. (2016). Education barriers for children with disabilities in Lebanon. Retrieved from

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United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). (2006). Retrieved from

Educational challenges in Perú: Battling against intersectional discrimination

Written by Joan Vilalta Flo

Education is a fundamental human right. As dictated by the ICESCR and CESCR, everyone is entitled to non-discriminatory, quality, culturally sensitive, affordable, and accessible education. According to the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, in 2019 Perú showed fairly good results when it came to using its income to ensure the fulfillment of people’s right to education. From a low-and-middle-income assessment standard, it achieved 89.3% of the benchmark set for the global ranking, and 90.5% of its income-adjusted benchmark[i]. Indeed, there have been considerable improvements in the Peruvian education system throughout the years, such as an increase in the education budget (a 50% between 2012 and 2017) and overall greater accessibility and provision of education to the bulk of society[ii].

Nevertheless, numerous recent sources indicate, through a more nuanced view, that several obstacles still hamper accessible and quality education in Perú, especially for certain vulnerable populations, which in some cases are discriminated simultaneously at multiple levels. The following paragraphs will outline some of the current challenges that Perú faces when ensuring human rights in education.


According to a recent in-depth study that uses data from the Peruvian Ministry of Education, the uneven distribution of students in Peruvian schools depending on socioeconomic level, but also residence location or performance is a great challenge that is barely attended. Having extremely homogenous populations in educational centers, with certain centers accumulating those with similar socioeconomic advantages, negatively affects social cohesion, the quality of education, the exchange of social capital and the access to equal opportunities.

An example of this can be found in the expansion of private education centers. Originating in the widespread prestige of private education among Peruvians since the 90’s, the popularity and demand for private centers has increased steeply. Registration to basic education centers went from 14% in 1997 to 28.4% in 2020[iii]. While the Peruvian state pushed for universal education by providing public centers, it allowed the expansion of privatization, placing little regulation upon the sector. This has coincided with an increase of segregation in education, there currently is an uneven distribution of the student population among educational centers.

Peruvian private school youths. Photo by Sepres.

Rural public schools hold a disproportionately great number of low-income students, followed by urban public centers, then low-cost private centers and finally high-cost private centers, which are mainly composed by high-income students and barely contain socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Within the private circuit, the performance of students also increases with the cost of the school, pointing to the idea that individuals get only the education they can pay for.[iv] It should be noted that student performance in the increasingly popular low-cost private centers is sometimes similar or even lower than in standardized public schools, while they sometimes lack appropriate material and teacher capacitation. This indicates that the prestige of private education is sometimes uncalled for.[v]

Another example of segregation in education is displayed by the COAR or High-Performance Centers, secondary education centers that “reward talent”. Such public institutions accumulate students with outstanding results and are sometimes framed as inclusive, since they provide the opportunity to obtain “better quality” education those who cannot afford private schools. But it is precisely in the fact that the state guarantees a better quality of education in those centers that they become problematic, since the state fails its own responsibility to ensure the same educational quality to all its citizens. The 25 existing COAR only contain around 6.700 students in total and their student investment is 12.5 times higher compared to the rest of public schools, undermining the principles of equity and equal access to opportunities.[vi] Separating high-performance students from their original schools also curtails the possibility of peer-to-peer learning and improvement for the rest of students.

Moreover, while the access to a COAR seems to be solely determined by an individual’s “merit”, it must be considered that minority and vulnerable populations (such as individuals from rural and indigenous areas, whose mother tongue is not Spanish and whose parents have a low educational level) are significantly less likely to be enrolled or accepted in a COAR. It can be argued that “talent” is, in the end, only easily recognized and displayed in contexts of advantage; it is necessary to promote inclusive educational systems that provide equal opportunities for all.

COAR students in a meeting. Photo by ANDINA.

Legal Matters

Since May 2022 there has been a controversial law in place that can deeply affect education in human and civil rights, curtailing the quality of education: the Law No. 31498. This law essentially allocates greater power to parent’s associations to overwatch the curriculum of primary and secondary school levels, including veto power. The law contemplates that a moral criterion can be applied when overwatching (or vetoing) the curriculum’s content.

Parent’s association meeting. Photo by ANDINA.

While supporters of this law claim that it can enhance the quality of the educational material, organizations such as Human Rights Watch claim that this law puts quality and independent education to risk by subjugating the expertise of teachers and the Ministry of Education to parent’s views and opinions. They acknowledge that it is important to involve the parents in the educational process, but they note that this law has, in practice, translated into the reduction or veto of education in gender and sexuality matters.[vii] Such education is crucial to promote equality, social justice, and human rights, especially considering the high teen pregnancy rates and increased sexual violence rates in Perú.[viii] In fact, one of the recommendations by the 2018 UPR highlighted the need of an integral sexual education to inform women and girls about sexual health and reproductive rights.[ix] In short, this law potentially challenges the quality of education in human rights, justice and freedom of expression while hampering the development of critical thinking skills.

Also, as regards legal improvements, it should be noted that, as noted in the 2018 UPR recommendations, fully equipping disabled people with full juridical capacity and recognition in the Civil Code could guarantee their access to adapted, inclusive, quality education, which is something that hasn’t been fully achieved yet.[x]

The Digital Gap

The Covid-19 pandemic hit the Peruvian educational system hard: in 2021, a total of 124.533 students stopped attending the classes. Although the government of Perú acted fast and implemented various policies to continue providing education for all students (including the provision of technological material to families with little resources and connectivity, and equipping teachers with capacities to adapt to virtual education)[xi], the crisis underscored a salient problem in Peruvian education: the so-called Digital Gap.

Children from a rural area using technological devices. Photo by Servindi.

Numerous studies conducted during and after the pandemic highlighted that rural, usually indigenous families (which are also often the ones with lowest income) have got less access to technological material, sometimes lack internet connection and, by extension, attain less digital literacy than those located in urban areas under better socioeconomical conditions.[xii] The lack of technological accessibility and knowledge is a widespread problem in South America and the Caribbean, where as much as 55% of the population is affected.[xiii] This gap represents a situation of inequality in education access and quality between urban, wealthier populations and poorer rural communities, and it has implications far beyond the Covid-19 pandemic in a future where digital access is increasingly essential for professional development[xiv]. Less than 10% of the Peruvian population that did not finish primary education has access to internet[xv], highlighting that the inequality also affects those with a lower educational level, making the inequality somewhat cyclical. It should also be considered that ensuring the obtention of technology is not enough: the technological item itself needs to be accessible to students with special needs, which reportedly was the most overlooked collective during the pandemic.

Illiteracy, School Dropout and Absenteeism

According to the National Statistics Institute, around 5.6% of the population over 15 years old in Perú do not know how to read and write.[xvi] Literacy is key to reduce poverty and build democratic and fair societies with respect for social equality and human rights. While steady improvements have been made in this area in Perú, the illiteracy rate remains high, especially among, again, vulnerable collectives and minorities. Most illiterate individuals live in contexts of extreme poverty located in rural areas (in which illiteracy is 4 times greater than in urban areas), are indigenous, and their mother tongue is Quichua, Aimara or another regional language.[xvii] The gender component, which will be elaborated on further on this article, also plays into illiteracy: 8.3% of Peruvian women are illiterate, compared to 2.9% of men.[xviii]

Women from a rural area attending a literacy class. Photo by Diario Correo.

The number of workers between 14 and 18 years old has reportedly increased by 485.000 in 2021.[xix] Many young individuals who live in non-urban areas in poor economic conditions, often must assume work duties to survive, which makes their school attendance irregular and negatively impacts their performance.[xx] This is especially true for girls, who are often assigned to do the bulk of domestic work by their families, or who are affected by teenage pregnancy and sometimes forced into marriage.[xxi] This represents an obstacle to alphabetization and obtention of quality education, as well as a school dropout problem: the dropout rate in Perú is of 6.3%. For the reasons mentioned above, the rate for women is of 10.2% while for men it is of 8.4%.[xxii]

The challenge here is obvious: there needs to be greater efforts to increase literacy, particularly in poverty and rural contexts, including tending to the cultural and language needs of indigenous communities by enacting more flexible and inclusive education systems.[xxiii] Gender sensitive policies to ensure the education of girls and women must also be developed, while fighting patriarchal gender roles that undermine their rights.

A child working in agriculture. Photo available in RCR.

Sexual Violence in Education

In 2018, 34.6% of the Peruvian teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 had reportedly been victims of sexual abuse either at home or at school.[xxiv] Needless to say, these experiences deeply harm children at various levels and profoundly violate their human rights, including their right to quality education. This figure is alarming enough to highlight the importance of preventing such violence in education through implementing strong reporting and detection mechanisms, applying multisectoral prevention plans against child victimization, providing education in sexual and gender matters, raising awareness as well as building a stronger and more accessible justice system.[xxv]


As it can be picked up from the sections above, there is a level of discrimination towards certain (vulnerable) populations in Peruvian education, expressed through situations of inequity, inequality of opportunities and access to education, and differential provision of quality education.

Discrimination by gender is one of the most pressing matters. As explained earlier, Peruvian women and girls experience inequality in access and permanence in primary, secondary, and tertiary education due to socially enforced sexist gender roles that disregard their right to quality education.[xxvi] The inequality worsens in the case of women who live in rural areas; a limited education limits their professional possibilities, driving them towards jobs that do not require professionalization, provide low incomes and poor working conditions.[xxvii] Moreover, although the legislation includes a gender lens in education since 2003, implementation of a curriculum on gender issues has been very slow, mainly due to the opposition of religious groups.[xxviii] Hence, education in Perú still enforces sexist stereotypes that perpetuate gender inequalities.

Children from rural areas attending class. Photo by Educacción Perú.

Inequality is experienced by rural populations as well, visible through the previously mentioned education access difficulties, lower quality education due to lower resource allocation in rural educational centers, lack of technological facilities, and socioeconomical constrains. Indeed, the discrimination of these individuals intersects with the discrimination of lower socioeconomic status individuals, whose conditions makes it hard to attain educational continuity and good performance. Only 1 in 10 poor youths access university, while 5 in 10 rich youths do.[xxix]

Also intersecting with the discrimination towards rural populations, there is a longstanding discrimination against indigenous peoples. Evidence of this is displayed, for example, by the fact that they are vastly underrepresented in tertiary education. Students whose mother tongue is Spanish are more than twice as likely to register in tertiary education (34.4%) than those whose mother tongue is an indigenous one (14.1%).[xxx]

Disabled students also suffer a longstanding situation of inequality that, although formally condemned by the state and legally acknowledged, in practice results in the continued segregation of disabled students and a deficient Basic Education assistance rate of 52%.[xxxi]

Disabled children attending school. Photo by Perú 21.

Yet another level of discrimination in education can be seen against Venezuelan migrant children. Venezuelan migration to Perú for sociopolitical and economic reasons has been a rising phenomenon over the last years. Unfortunately, prejudices against them and structural disadvantages has placed them in a position of vulnerability; and Venezuelan children have not been exempted from it: 42% of Venezuelan children in Perú still have not accessed formal education.[xxxii] More palpable forms of discrimination towards Venezuelan children such as xenophobic bullying have also been reported.  Physical or psychological violence in the context of education has been the result of xenophobia against Venezuelans, sometimes intersecting with other forms of discrimination, such as gender-based prejudices, which have contributed to the hyper-sexualization of Venezuelan girls.[xxxiii]

All in all, it seems necessary to promote inclusive educational schemes in which centers, educators, students, and families take conscience of the existing inequalities and work together to overcome them. The state needs to properly equip institutions and professionals in order to implement policies that shape a system that truly grants universal access to the same opportunities and quality contents while ensuring a positive and safe environment for all individuals.[xxxiv]


[i] Human Rights Tracker (n.d.)

[ii] UN, Human Rights Council (2018)

[iii] Ames (2021)

[iv] Ames (2021)

[v] Aquino (2018)

[vi] Ames (2021)

[vii] Cabrera (2023)

[viii] UN Perú (2022)

[ix] UN, Human Rights Council (2018)

[x] UN, Human Rights Council (2018)

[xi] Tarazona (2021), Fundacion Weise (2021)

[xii] Ortega Murga et al. (2021), Acho Ramirez et al. (2021)

[xiii] Tarazona (2021)

[xiv] Ortega Murga et al. (2021), Fundacion Weise (2021), Acho Ramirez et al. (2021)

[xv] Tarazona (2021)

[xvi] INEI (2018)

[xvii] Plan International Perú (2022), CARE (2023), INEI (2018)

[xviii] INEI (2018)

[xix] CARE (2023)

[xx] Plan International Perú (2022), CARE (2023), Becerra Paico (2022)

[xxi] Plan International Perú (2022), Becerra Paico (2022)

[xxii] CARE (2023)

[xxiii] Castillo-Acobo et al. (2022)

[xxiv] UNICEF (2018)

[xxv] UN Perú (2022)

[xxvi] Rojas (2022), Becerra Paico (2022)

[xxvii] Santa María et al. (2020), Cuenca and Urrutia (2019)

[xxviii] Rojas (2022)

[xxix] Cuenca and Urrutia (2019)

[xxx] Ames (2021)

[xxxi] Ames (2021)

[xxxii] Navas Zaraza and Morin Cabrera (2021)

[xxxiii] Navas Zaraza and Morin Cabrera (2021)

[xxxiv] Castillo-Acobo et al. (2022)



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Ames, P (2021). Educación,¿la mejor herencia o el mejor negocio?: La segregación educativa en el Perú y los desafíos para la formación ciudadana. In Revista Peruana de Investigación Educativa13(15).

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Becerra Paico, B. D. (2022). Políticas públicas en educación: Discriminación por género en el sistema educativo, caso Centro Poblado Saltur del distrito de Zaña, provincia de Chiclayo en la región Lambayeque, 2018-2019. Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz Gallo, Facultad de Ciencias Histórico Sociales y Educación.

Cabrera, C. G. (2023, January 24). Perú amenaza la educación sobre derechos humanos. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from:

CARE (2023, February 7). 5 Cifras Alarmantes de la Educación en el Perú. CARE Perú. Retrieved from:,a%C3%B1os%20no%20la%20ha%20culminado.

Castillo-Acobo, R., Quispe, H., Arias-Gonzáles, J., & Amaro, C. (2022). Consideraciones de los docentes sobre las barreras de la educación inclusiva. Revista De Filosofía, 39.

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Universal Periodic Review of Ecuador – Disabilities

During the previous cycle, Ecuador received eight recommendations on the topic of disability rights. Israel connected disability rights with the right to education in its recommendation 118.8 “Develop a comprehensive deinstitutionalization plan for people with disabilities that aims to support their life in their communities and ensure inclusive education for people with disabilities”. All eight specific actions by states, including the one by Israel, were supported by Ecuador. In this sense, the acceptancy rate was 100%. Ecuador has made notable progress regarding the protection and respect of persons with disabilities. While it has created Inclusion Support Units and passed Regulations for standardizing differentiated management and care processes in specialized educational institutions, persons with disabilities still suffer from segregation and division within the society.

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