The Chilean school system, the first to have a unitary character in South America, has always been particularly open to innovative pedagogical methodologies. It is structured in primary education, compulsory and free, which lasts eight years (from 6 to 14 years of age) and is divided into two cycles of four years each. The first provides for a general cultural formation; the second, on the other hand, envisages various specialist courses. Secondary education, on the other hand, has a duration of four years and is divided into two different fields of study: humanistic-scientific (with which one enters the university), and technical-professional (aimed at a direct insertion into the world of work). Higher education is given in various universities, including the University of Chile (Santiago, 1738), of Concepción (1919) of Valdivia (1954), in the University of the North (Antofagasta, 1956), in the Catholic Universities of Chile (Santiago, 1888) and Valparaíso (1928) and in the Technical Universities of Valparaíso (1926) and Santiago (1947), to which various Technical Institutes belong. In 2007, the illiteracy rate among adults was 3.5%. in the Catholic Universities of Chile (Santiago, 1888) and Valparaíso (1928) and in the Technical Universities of Valparaíso (1926) and Santiago (1947), to which various Technical Institutes belong. In 2007, the illiteracy rate among adults was 3.5%. in the Catholic Universities of Chile (Santiago, 1888) and Valparaíso (1928) and in the Technical Universities of Valparaíso (1926) and Santiago (1947), to which various Technical Institutes belong. In 2007, the illiteracy rate among adults was 3.5%.
The variety of climatic and altitudinal conditions corresponds to a notable differentiation of vegetal landscapes: we pass from the very arid steppes of the N to the shrub formations, xerophilous, of the center-north, to the gradually temperate environment of the central-southern section, where, however, the natural landscape flourishing crops have been replaced almost everywhere, barely interrupted by riparian formations of poplars. Further to the S, the dense coniferous forest extends instead, with species such as the alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) and, in the volcanic areas, the araucaria (Araucaria araucana), and beech trees (including the Nothofagus, or southern beech), which occupies most of the territory of southern Chile, finally yielding to the tundras of the far south. The abundance of fish of the Chilean coastal waters, due to the large amount of plankton induced by the current, is also linked to the climatic peculiarities of Humboldt, which favors the high proliferation of seabirds (flamingos, pelicans, penguins, albatrosses) which is responsible for the considerable accumulation of guano that gave rise to the vast deposits of sodaniter in northern Chile. Visit healthinclude.com for Chile travel package. The territorial waters are crossed, among other things, by various species of whales and Chile is one of the countries most engaged in the international debate on the prohibition of hunting these animals. The terrestrial fauna has numerous species of mammals, some of which are widespread throughout the Andean arc, others present only in some areas: llamas, vicuña, alpaca, otter, ferret, puma, guanaco, kodkod (Oncifelis grin), monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides), a small tree- dwelling marsupial considered a living fossil, huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), pudú (Pudu pudu), both small cervids thought to be in danger of extinction, sea lion and seal. In addition to seabirds, the avifauna includes other birds of the mountain areas where the presence of woodpecker, condor, rhea, owl is observed. Forests occupy 21.5% of the territory, despite the phenomenon of deforestation which has in the past caused the loss of large wooded areas, especially in southern Chile; in the early 21st century. there has been an increase in forest areas thanks to reforestation programs. Industrial exhausts and gases emitted by cars contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in large cities (especially in Santiago), where there is also the phenomenon of water contamination caused by incorrect management of sewage liquids. Political sensitivity to the problem of heritage protection has distant roots: the first Chilean reserve was established in 1907 and the first national park in 1926; only twenty-five years later the protected areas had become thirteen. In the first decade of the 2000s, one fifth of the Chilean land area was considered a protected area, Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado) managed by CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal). This institution has the task of protecting the natural heritage and promoting the sustainable use of forest ecosystems with particular attention to indigenous peoples whose organizations are actively involved in the safeguarding of the territories inhabited by these communities. The protected areas include 33 national parks, numerous national reserves and natural monuments (14%); moreover CONAF also manages some naturalistic sanctuaries not included in the SNAPSE system. National legislation provides that the areas used as a national park cannot be exploited in any way for economic purposes and therefore all the resources contained in them must be protected while the areas classified as national reserves can be used in a sustainable way.