Education has not always received the recognition it deserves in Paraguay. These days this is changing as political stability returns, although the poorer children in more rural areas still are not reached by the same opportunities, especially in terms of hours per day at school. As a result 10% to 15% of them are still illiterate. The 6 years of primary school start nominally at age 7, and education is mandatory through to age 14.
The secondary school program that is split into 2, 3-year phases is not well regarded by the local people who prefer to send their children across to Chile if they can afford it. This is causing conflict between educational authorities, which the Education Minister of Paraguay is addressing by improving local facilities at home.
The tertiary education system in Paraguay does not enjoy widespread recognition despite the government having introduced a number of new institutions in recent years. As a consequence, brighter students go overseas in search of world-class degrees, find work there, and remain away. And so the vicious cycle of mediocrity rolls on.
The oldest university in Paraguay is the Universidad Nacional de Asunción founded in 1889. Its 12 schools are spread out in campuses across the country.