Education for life and work (EDUVIDA)

Project description

Title: Education for life and work (EDUVIDA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Guatemala
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education of the Republic of Guatemala MINEDUC
Overall term: 2013 to 2016

Guatemala © GIZ


The National Human Development Report of Guatemala for 2012 described the inadequacies of the country’s secondary education system. More than 20% of 13 to 19-year-olds fail to complete their secondary education while more than 30% do not enrol in secondary school education at all, and in some regions this proportion is up to 50 or 60%. Thus, a significant proportion of young people have only primary education, which seriously limits their development opportunities on Guatemala’s job market.

The Ministry of Education wants to help youths acquire basic skills for life. The support measures centre on imparting occupational skills.

The President of the Republic introduced the ‘Youth Protagonists’ programme which seeks to link up public education services with the job market and businesses. This government initiative aims to underscore the need for strengthening secondary education by focusing on the scope and quality of education provision.

The government is aware of the deficiencies in secondary education, particularly in rural regions, and of the need for putting into place policies that rectify the situation with adapted measures. Without sufficient, high-quality secondary education, many regions of Guatemala will miss out on hoped-for social and economic development. This is particularly true for rural areas, which are home to roughly half of the country’s population.


The Ministry of Education of Guatemala can employ institutional and educational instruments under its secondary education reform programme to provide an education that enables social integration and vocational preparation in rural areas.

Guatemala © GIZ


The programme supports the Ministry of Education in restructuring the secondary education system and centres on the topics of social integration and vocational preparation. Its activities focus on rural regions in the Departments of Alta Verapaz, Chiquimula and Quiché with the following themes:

  • Education for dignified work: entrepreneurship and promoting employability
  • Education for active citizenship, interculturality and peace
  • Securing a coordinated transition between primary and secondary education and between the secondary level, the job market and the tertiary level
  • Access to education for people with a disability in order to overcome discrimination and social exclusion
Guatemala © GIZ

The German contribution mainly comprises the provision of specialist advice on research, education management, staff training, curriculum development and implementation, on the dialogue between civil society and the Ministry of Education and on alliances between the ministry, business associations and universities.

The EDUVIDA programme works with secondary education institutions of the municipal, private and public sectors in selected communities in order to make it easier for young people to enter the job market. At the same time, it strengthens the institutional capacities of the decentralised education directorates.

In the context of education for young people and local development, it also seeks to promote dialogue and networking with producers, trade unions, enterprises and civil society organisations.

The Ministry of Education follows up on exemplary best-practice experiences and transfers them to the national education system.

EDUVIDA seeks to enhance the social and economic significance of secondary school education by increasing the cultural relevance of the curriculum and the quality of education provision, and it aims to help generate entrepreneurship and improve youth employability.

The programme strengthens the Ministry of Education and civil society organisations that work in youth education. It reinforces a democratic culture of multiculturalism, peace and justice, thereby indirectly helping to prevent youth violence.

Democratic principles, including human rights, are to be strengthened and put into practice by introducing elements of civic education into the curricula. In this way, the programme indirectly contributes to promoting democracy.

After almost exclusively promoting primary school education for 25 years, the Ministry of Education of Guatemala is having to bow to pressure from society and effectively upgrade secondary education. The EDUVIDA programme therefore was launched at a propitious time. GIZ is represented on a task force of the donor network that was established as a result of the new political interest in secondary education. Its objectives are to enhance donor coordination and improve educational quality.

In particular, the programme helps to develop management strategies and structures at the middle management levels of the school authority. Staff at that level are usually employed for longer terms.
The programme coordinates its activities closely with other GIZ projects and works with KfW Development Bank.

Results achieved so far

EDUVIDA builds on the results of the previous education programme PACE and develops further the methods employed and products prepared under this programme.

Additional information