Primary and Secondary Schools in Ecuador

About Primary and Secondary Schools in Ecuador

The education system of Ecuador consists of primary, secondary and tertiary education. The constitution of Ecuador mandates all children to receive primary education. The constitution makes it compulsory for all children in Ecuador to attend basic schooling for nine years. Primary and secondary education is free in Ecuador. 95 per cent of all children in Ecuador enroll into primary schools at the age of six. However, 25 per cent of them drop out of school by the end of fifth grade. There are more than 1,000 primary schools and 35 secondary schools in Ecuador. The teacher to student ratio is 1: 23.  The Ministry of Education regulates primary and secondary education in Ecuador.

In order to improve the quality of primary education, Ecuador has plans to invest in various resources. This would help the number of students who have completed secondary school to enroll into higher education programs.

Primary schools in Ecuador

Children in Ecuador can start attending preprimary school at the age of four. However, only the primary education from the age of six to fourteen is compulsory. There are not many schools in the country for preschool education. Most of the primary schools in Ecuador use Spanish as the medium of instruction. Some schools use both English and Spanish. Bilingual education system is a challenge for children in rural areas. Spanish, Math and English are the main subjects taught to primary school kids. They learn basic reading and writing along with some other subjects like science, history, natural science and geography. Art and music are also taught in all primary schools.

20 per cent of primary schools in Ecuador are run privately. Some private, nonprofit primary schools offer US based education system. Although instruction is given in English in these schools, students also learn Spanish. ‘English-as-a-Second-Language’ classes are offered to students, whose level of English proficiency is low. In addition, art, music and physical education are also offered at these schools.

Secondary Schools in Ecuador

Secondary education in Ecuador is free till Grade nine. The starting age of secondary education is 12. Secondary education is divided into two three year cycles- grades 6 7, 8 and grades 9, 10 and 11. The secondary schools in Ecuador prepare students for higher education. Students learn English, Spanish, physics, chemistry, history of Ecuador, Geography of Ecuador, world history, mathematics and natural sciences. After ninth grade, parents need to pay certain school fees. In the last three year cycle, the students can choose major subjects, such as computer science, mathematics, social studies or science.

The enrollment of students in private schools for secondary education in Ecuador is on the rise. Some secondary schools or college preparatory schools in Ecuador offer International Baccalaureate programs, middle year and diploma.  Private schools are mainly based in urban areas.

The students can choose the program, according to their interest. The secondary school programs differ with institutions, and the curriculum comprises various subjects.

Secondary schools in Ecuador face a variety of issues, including inadequately trained teachers, restrictive teaching methods, emphasis upon university preparation and shortage of libraries and laboratories and so on. The Government is taking initiatives to reduce these issues.

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