The Maya populations experience low literacy and a lack of formal schooling. According to the World Bank, illiteracy rates in Guatemala reach as high as 75%. Educational attainment is extremely low, only averaging 4 years. Indigenous girls typically attend school for fewer than two years. Studies show that for every ten students who begin first grade in rural Guatemala, fewer than three will continue on to seventh grade, and only one will complete tenth grade.
- 90% of schools in rural Guatemala that lack books
- Almost 80% of Guatemalan middle and high-school students lack the opportunity to learn to use a computer
- 1 out of 10 children in rural areas will ever attend middle school
- An indigenous girl on average stays in school less than 2 years
For those fortunate enough to attend public school, the quality of education is often low. Teachers lack formal training and resources. Textbooks, technology and other materials are usually nonexistent. Most young people in rural communities fail to develop proper study skills and have little support at home as their parents never attended school. Low enthusiasm, lack of support, and poor academic materials lead to high dropout rates. This feeds into the cycle of poverty and exacerbates already low living standards.