Education and Cultural Activity, Education
Catholic University of Chile, technical universities, Santiago, national government, school system
Chile’s modern education system had its origins in the mid-19th century. Today, eight years of education is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 13. The school system is administered by the national government under the minister of education. The national literacy rate of 99 percent is one of the highest in Latin America. Chile conducted intensive adult literacy campaigns in the 1980s and in the 1990s initiated programs designed for adult education.
In 1998-1999, 1.8 million students were enrolled in primary schools and 1.3 million were enrolled in secondary schools. A preschool program is also conducted. Among the institutions of higher education, the University of Chile (1738), a state-operated university in Santiago, is highly respected throughout the world. Other centers of higher learning include the University of Concepcion (1919), the Catholic University of Chile (1888), the Catholic University of Valparaiso (1928), and several technical universities. Total annual enrollment in institutions of higher education in 1998-1999 was 406,553.
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