Purulhá has the the highest illiteracy rate in the region of Baja Verapaz. Consequently, this high rate of illiteracy poses a primary economic and social problem, and is the result of extreme poverty relegated to a significant portion of the population. These citizens are therefore marginalized from social benefits, particularly in education. The problem of illiteracy is also a consequence of the unequal distribution of wealth in the country, region and the town.
According to the National Literacy Committee, illiteracy in Guatemala is of 21.04 %, while in the Town of Purulhá is 33.69 % in men 48.63 % and in women, which puts us above the national average by 160 % in men and 231% in women.
Promotion & Dropout
At the pre-primary level, the dropout rate, according to the INE in 2002, is 8.09%, while at the primary level it is 5.73%, and the middle dropout rate school stands at 8.45%. This dropout problem, is due to family migration, a lack of resources to support a child’s school attendance, or because children may have have to support their parents in their daily work or trade.
In general students do not complete their studies mainly for economic reasons. Many children have to help their families farm the land. These types of problems often occur in rural areas.
Among other factors that explain the absence in the classroom, are that the middle school aged population go to work outside of the town. The condition of poverty in which the children live push them to make a decision to work, and help support their family. Other factors include schools being located far away from home and young girls marrying during their teenage years. The report of Public Health indicates that 21% of women in the Town become pregnant before age 19.