The Problem

The Problem

Nicaragua law does not require parents to send their children to school. Many of these parents did not receive a formal education themselves and do not understand the benefits for their children. As a result, Unicef reports that within Nicaragua at of the end of 2008 ”24 per cent of children [were] not in the school system, and child labour [affected] approximately 10 per cent of children and adolescents.” 

These numbers can increase greatly within rural settings and as families experience economic hardships. For example, the community immediately around our facility has attendance rates below 50% in all of the schools with multiple below 40%.  As the Nicaraguan economy continues to loose steam more of these families are sending their children to the streets to beg for food instead of attending school.

In summary, there are multiple major issues facing the school system in Nicaragua, including:

  • Many children must choose between eating and attending school, especially in rural settings
  • Most facilities are too small, in poor condition or non-existent for the number of children enrolled
  • Teachers receive a fraction of the standard wage
  • Many families cannot afford supplies or uniforms
  • Family elders often do not understand the benefit of a formal education