Bolivia: Education Law ‘Avelino Siñani - Elizardo Pérez’, issued in 2010


Concept of lifelong learning

The law does not use the term “lifelong learning”. Instead, it uses the term “alternative education” to refer to one part of the education system. Alternative education comprises educational activities for young people and adults who want to continue their studies outside the regular education system according to their needs, interests, professional development and social environment. It also comprises the development of continuing education processes throughout life that respond to the needs of organizations, communities, and families.

Main regulations

  • Philosophical and political framework of education in Bolivia
    • Education as a human right: all citizens have the right to education
    • Sociocultural and linguistic diversity: interculturalism promotes citizens’ development, supports social cohesion (particularly with regard to indigenous citizens) and helps consolidate the plurinational state, which is based on the values of equity, solidarity, complementarity, reciprocity and justice
  • Plurinational education system
    • Regular education: refers to systematic, normed and obligatory education for all children, adolescents and young persons, from initial education in families until graduation from secondary education
    • Alternative and special education: responds to the educational needs and prospects of individuals, families, communities and organizations, focusing especially on people at risk of marginalization or discrimination
    • Higher vocational education and training system: includes teacher education, technical education, artistic education and university education
    • Curricular organization, administration and leadership of the plurinational education system
  • Curricular organization: refers to the establishment of mechanisms for linking educational theory with practice based on the principles of cultural and linguistic diversity
    • Administration and leadership of education: includes encouraging social participation in the planning, organization, guidance and monitoring of resources in the plurinational education system
    • Support of resources and services: includes the establishment of the Institute for Plurinational Education Research and the Plurinational Institute for Language and Culture Studies
    • Social community participation: its structure comprises the Plurinational Educational Congress, the Plurinational Educational Council, Educational Councils of Indigenous Populations, Social Community Education Councils and Consulting Councils of the Ministry of Education

Particular feature of the law

In the law, alternative and special education is defined as a part of the plurinational education system. Its objectives include the democratization of access to culturally adequate and socially relevant education, primarily for those persons aged 15 and older who want to start or continue their studies. It promotes inclusive education and makes provisions for people with disabilities. It also recognizes knowledge and skills acquired through practical experience in everyday life and community involvement.

Alternative education comprises education for young people and adults as well as continuing education (i.e. education outside the school system) for all citizens. The law foresees the establishment of a special institution under the Ministry of Education responsible for the accreditation of continuing education processes outside school.

Special education includes education for people with disabilities, learning difficulties and extraordinary talents. Special education is delivered in two modalities: direct modality refers to providing special and comprehensive services for students with disabilities, while indirect modality refers to including all groups in the plurinational education system and creating greater awareness within the educational community of the needs of these groups.

Relevant documents that the LAW refers to:

  • Bolivia. 2008. Nueva constitución política del estado

Stakeholders involved in the development of the law:

Issuing Body

Ministry of Education