I chose to write about The Dominican Republic because it has a lot of meaning to me. I visit The Dominican Republic every year with my family. I first went to The Dominican Republic when I was in 9th grade with my best friend and her family. Her family originated there and it was where she was born, when she was ten she moved to the United States. Growing up I heard about where her family came from and this amazing country that meant so much to my friend. I never knew that it was a third world country until I went there and saw how families lived and the conditions people were in.
After I went with her family I went with my family and stayed at a hotel. The life the hotel betrays is very different than the life the people of the Dominican Republic lead. The nation did not enjoy full independence until 1844, when it emerged from twenty-two years of occupation by Haiti; this liberation came later than that of most Latin American countries. (Haggerty). The Dominican Republic has faced many hardships and continues to come out being an independent country. “It has been estimated that the country’s total population in mid-1990 will total slightly more than 7 million.
Growth had been high since official census taking began in 1920. The rate peaked during the 1950s at 3. 6 percent per year. During the 1960s and the 1970s, the population grew at 2. 9 percent annually; by the mid-1980s, the rate was thought to be roughly 2. 5 percent. ” (Haggerty). In the past four decades the birth rate has severely decreased due to woman using contraceptives, because the population is so large in the Dominican Republic there is a high need for education. Education is the most important building blocks in every person’s life, without education you cannot get a real career and build a life.
Although the Dominican Republic has school districts their schools are not as sufficient as they are in America. For the Dominican Republic “Formal education included the primary, the secondary, and higher education levels. The six-year primary cycle was compulsory. Three years of preschool were offered in some areas, but not on a compulsory basis. There were several types of secondary school; most students attended the six year liceo, which awarded the bachillerato certificate upon completion and was geared toward university admission. (Haggerty). Their school district seems to intact but it is just the opposite. Haggerty states, “Despite the compulsory nature of primary education, only 17 percent of rural schools offered all six grades. This explained to some degree the lower levels of secondary enrollment. For those who did go on to the secondary level, academic standards were low, the dropout rate reportedly was high, and all but the poorest students had to buy their textbooks-another disincentive to enrollment for many. For the year 2000, the estimated adult illiteracy rate stood at 16. 2% (males, 16%; females, 16. 3%). Children go to school expecting to be taught by a professional to offer them more knowledge and expand their minds. Although we expect our teachers to be fully educated in the field they are teaching that is not always the case. This is shown in the Dominican Republic, Haggerty tells us, “In 1982, however, roughly half of all teachers lacked the required academic background.
A chronic shortage of teachers was attributable to low pay (especially in rural areas), the relatively low status of teaching as a career, and an apparent reluctance among men to enter the profession. ” Education is the most important part of any childs life, unfortunately the Dominican Republic lacks the education children need. Their school districts are poor and their teachers are not fully qualified so the high percentage of dropouts is not surprising to anyone Richard A. Haggerty, ed. Dominican Republic: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989.