Education is free and compulsory for the first 13 years (from preschool to secondary school). The state delegates childcare for children aged 0–5 years to alternative public and private centres that are regulated by the Ministry of Education. The state provides teacher wages and salaries, teacher training, school infrastructure, textbooks, some school supplies, formative tests and evaluations. Families generally cover the cost of school uniforms (compulsory) and school supplies. Forty-three per cent of public school parents pay tuition fees and 36 per cent make monthly payments.
The Ministry of Education oversees education provision, including funding. Budget allocation is decentralized, resources are allocated based on results, and allocation aims to be equitable. Allocation of resources prioritizes the areas with the greatest school exclusion. However, there are no defined criteria or formulas for resource allocation.
The departmental education directorates prepare payslips for teaching and administrative staff and implement the allocated budget, and schools create budgets according to their needs. Likewise, the local government also contribute to education funding. In 2016, 11.3 per cent of district budgets were allocated to education spending.
In 2017, Honduras invested 5.9 per cent of its GDP and 22 per cent of its public spending on education, with a per-capita expenditure of 7.3 per cent on pre-primary students, 48.9 per cent on primary students and 25.3 per cent on secondary students. Finally, 3.8 million inhabitants are of school age.
Between 2019 and 2022, the government expects to invest USD 905 million (22.3 billion Honduran lempira – HNL), of which 80 per cent will be invested in inclusive access to the education system.
The Ministry of Education offers alternative community-run preschool and primary education for socially vulnerable students living in rural and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in 18 departments. The programme has benefited 120,000 students in 3,700 schools – 3.1 per cent of the school-age population. In 2017, the programme received USD 29.8 million (HNL 731.3 million) – 0.12 per cent of GDP.
Since 2013, the Ministry of Education’s General Directorate of Educational Modalities has run intercultural bilingual education initiatives in 919 schools, serving 90,737 students (2.38 per cent of the school-age population). Likewise, in 2016, the Directorate of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples estimated that the budget invested in the right to education and promotion of interculturality was USD 615,474 (HNL 15 million) – 0.002 per cent of GDP.
This programme is implemented by the Under-Secretariat of State and Social Integration of the Secretariat of Development and Social Inclusion. It aims to ensure that there is adequate food for students in public schools, which are targeted and prioritized based on levels of extreme poverty, vulnerability and social risk at the preschool level and grades 1–9. In 2017, the programme benefited 1.3 million students – 34 per cent of the school-age population. In 2017, it was allocated USD 13.3m (HNL 329 million) – 0.05 per cent of its GDP, of which half came from domestic funds and half from external funds.
This scholarship programme includes national and international scholarships for primary and higher education. National scholarships include the Beca Solidaria [solidarity scholarship] and Beca Asistir [assistance scholarship], aimed at vulnerable populations. The budget implemented for national scholarships in 2018 was USD 3.2 million (HNL 79.3 million) – 0.01 per cent of GDP.
- Solidarity scholarship: this scholarship is aimed at students in preschool, primary, secondary and vocational education in national schools. The scholarship is awarded based on economic insufficiency, using data from the National Center for Social Sector Information (CENISS). The scholarship consists of an annual payment that covers the cost of uniforms, school supplies and tuition. In 2018, 989 students benefited from this programme.
- Assistance scholarship: this scholarship is aimed at young people with daily school attendance. It can only be exchanged for products from the basic family basket. The scholarship is awarded through a selection process by the Ministry of Education and the Honduras Presidential Programme of Scholarships 2020. In 2018, 658 families benefited from the programme.
This programme was created in 2010 and focuses on families living in extreme poverty nationwide. The census and surveys are used as selection instruments. The bonus has four components: nutrition, health, basic support and education. The education component focuses on monthly vouchers of USD 11.8 (HNL 290) delivered on a quarterly basis to heads of households with children aged 6–18 years enrolled in the public school system. Children must be enrolled during the first and second quarters and have at least 80 per cent attendance in the third and final quarters.