Due to problems in terms of education systems in the Dominican Republic, one of the most important decisions made by the government was to invest money in schools. Despite the plans of building new classrooms, only a few teachers are available.
1. Literacy in Dominican Republic
Based on statistics, the education system in the country has been ranked as one of the worst worldwide. In fact, the literacy rate of students in urban areas is just the same as the rural areas. Due to the difficulty of poor students to escape the status of the public education system, it becomes hard for them to break out from poverty.
This can’t be denied that the Dominican Republic continue to struggle just like its neighboring nations in terms of overpopulation in classrooms. Moreover, dropout rate has been high, including the problems of outdated curriculum and overage students failing to come to class in which they have to repeat.
What’s worse is that they apparently have poorly trained educators which make it hard for stabilizing the education system in the country. As a matter of fact, only 42% of the materials were understood by Mathematics teachers that they were supposed to teach. This was on the basis of a recent study conducted by education experts.
2. Low Compensation Rate
The low compensation received by teachers has made the situation even harder. Receiving low pay should even make it tougher for educators to have interest in spending their knowledge and expertise in this area. According to the Dominican Central Bank, the average worker that has earned university education only receives 457 euros monthly.
3. Educational Overhaul
Dominican Republic was one of the first countries in the Caribbean that undertook a major overhaul in their education system. Due to the same problems encountered by the country year after year, the voters have convinced presidential candidates to double the budget on education if ever given a chance to be elected in the 2012 elections.
Focused on education reforms, the newly elected president was able to order the increase the spending on education. In fact, the country was bound to spend 4% of its GDP in 2014 for that matter. As a result, not all efforts received equal funding. Construction, for instance, gets more budget than the training and hiring of teachers.
By 2016, the government aims to build 28,000 classrooms to cater to the needs of their country. The current teaching staff is short for the classrooms that have already been built. As a matter of fact, the student-teacher ratio has been 78:1, which accounts for the 68% of the total public school enrollments.
4. Outlook for Literacy
Building new schools is not only the problem that needs to be resolved by the Dominican government. This is because about 40% of male and female students will leave school before reaching 8th grade. Even high school graduates start college with a reading level of a sixth-grade student. This was based on the study conducted by a certain university in the country. But despite the existing problems of literacy, the citizens may have been pleased with the educational reforms which they consider a step up from what they have suffered before under a dictatorship, corruption, and abuses in human rights.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.