Education in El Salvador

Last updated

Education in El Salvador follows a (1 or 2) 9-2-5 educational system, which is regulated by the country's Ministry of Education: [1]


Education levels

Current education situation and statistics

According to statistics, only 82% of children make it to 9th grade. 6% of the children in El Salvador, do not attend school at all. Children who have finished 9th grade can go to secondary school, but only 33% will. The distribution of literacy is 79% men and 73% women. [2]

El Salvador has a very high crime rate and high gang violence, 300,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 have no jobs and do not attend university to study. [3]

According to the El Salvador Constitution (1983), every child is entitled to free education at the age of 4-6 years. Since most families live from less than $ 1 a day, it is normal in El Salvador that children under the age of 7 drop out of school to support their parents by working on a coffee plantation or helping in the household, because the parents can not afford education for the children. About 1.8 million minors between the ages of 5 and 17 work. In rural areas, about 62% of all children work, to support their families. [4]

Complications and improvement

The Minister of Education Carlos Mauricio Canjura Linares is responsible for education in El Salvador. Former President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who used to be a primary school teacher, co-supervised the Education Department from 2009 to 2012. The improvement of the Salvadoran school and university system is in need of improvement compared to other Latin American countries.

The biggest problem is the elementary and middle school education. Although the government creates incentives through teaching materials, distribution of school uniforms and free meals in schools, El Salvador still remains in the rear in terms of education. Strong deficits are the condition of the different schools, the schools themselves are underfunded. Teachers’ wages are too low and according to recent research, 3,000 schools in 262 communities are in need of repair. The current president announced an increase in the education budget from 3% to 6% by the end of his term in office (2019), but instead, the education budget has been cut.

In the meantime, 88% of the population is dominated by reading and writing, which is a great step forward. In 1992, after the end of the civil war, only 74% of them knew how to read and write. Spanish is spoken in El Salvador and English dominates as the first foreign language. In 1992 the Minister of Education Cecilia Gallardo de Cano embarked on a reform program of basic education. In 2017, the literacy rate was 88% for adults who were 15 years old and above. [5]

The national educational system is not the only one available. Pre-university education is not free. The State provides public education for which a fee is paid if the person paying can afford it and only one payment per family is made (i.e. siblings pay only one fee). Public education is inconsistent in quality, being extremely poor in rural areas and dubiously efficient in urban areas, becoming one of the State's greatest challenges.

The private schools have also made progress in El Salvador, there are also German, French, British and US schools in El Salvador, which offer a recognized high level of education. [6]

According to the World Bank, access to primary education in El Salvador has increased in recent years, as mentioned earlier, the literacy rate has also increased. Mainly the urban areas have developed. Nevertheless, a big challenge remains the early school leavers. [7]

Impact of education on poverty

The average income in El Salvador is approximately 851$, about 40% of the population live below the poverty line. At the moment, efforts are being made to reduce unemployment by boosting economic growth.

Due to poverty, many young people tend to violence, which is why they put less focus on education. El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Latin America. Between 1980 and 1992 there was a civil war, which cost more than 75,000 lives. Since 1992, more than 50,000 people have been murdered, reflecting the level of violence that has barely declined since the Civil War. 81% of the murdered were between 18 and 39 years of age, 82% of whom were men. [8]

Another strong deficit in education is that many children are not given the opportunity to attend school. Many children have to work on sugar or coffee plantations at a young age or help in the household. As already mentioned, more than 40% of the people in El Salvador are living below the poverty line. It is common for children in poor families to start working after the age of six.

As mentioned, very few students are able to obtain a university degree. For young people and adults who have achieved little or no education, it is difficult to earn a decent salary in El Salvador. The minimum salary is $ 185 and people who have no secondary education need to work for less than the minimum salary. [9]

Higher education

The University of El Salvador (UES) is the largest (and only) public university in the country. However, classes are constantly stopped for protests. The University of El Salvador has one main campus in San Salvador and three more campuses in Santa Ana, San Miguel and San Vicente.

There are also many private universities as alternatives to UES.

In Dec. 2014, the government of El Salvador entered into partnership with the United States Agency for International Development, in hopes of improving institutions of higher learning within the country with updated curricula and faculty training. [10]

Related Research Articles

Education in state institutions is free at the initial, primary, secondary and tertiary levels and in the undergraduate university level. Private education is paid, although in some cases state subsidies support its costs. According to studies by UNESCO, education in Argentina and Uruguay guarantee equality to have institutional features that hinder the commercialization of education, as well as Finland has characteristics that favor multiethnic population education and special education, education favors Argentina equality. According to the last census, the illiteracy rate is 1.9%, the second lowest in Latin America. In the last decade, Argentina has created nine new universities, while the outflow of university students increased by 68%.

First grade is the first grade in elementary school. It is the first school year after kindergarten in Canada and the USA. Children are usually 6–7 years old in this grade.

Education in Uganda

The system of education in Uganda has a structure of 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education, and 3 to 5 years of post-secondary education. The government of Uganda recognizes education as a basic human right and continues to strive to provide free primary education to all children in the country. However, issues with funding, teacher training, rural populations, and inadequate facilities continue to hinder the progress of educational development in Uganda. Girls in Uganda are disproportionately discriminated against in terms of education; they face harsher barriers when trying to gain an education and it has left the female population disenfranchised, despite government efforts to close the gap.

Education in Bangladesh

Education in Bangladesh is overseen by the Bangladesh's Ministry of Education. Ministry of Primary and Mass Education are responsible for implementing policy for primary education and state-funded schools at a local level. In Bangladesh, all citizens must undertake twelve years of compulsory education which consists of eight years at primary school level and six years at high school level. Primary and secondary education is financed by the state and free of charge in public schools.

Education in Cuba

Education in Cuba has been a highly ranked system for many years. The University of Havana was founded in 1727 and there are a number of other well-established colleges and universities. Following the 1959 revolution, the Castro regime nationalized all educational institutions, and created a system operated entirely by the government. Education expenditures continue to receive high priority.

Education in Spain is regulated by the Ley Orgánica 8/2013, de 9 de diciembre, para la mejora de la calidad educativa that expands upon Article 27 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The Spanish education system is compulsory and free for all children aged between 6 and 16 years and is supported by the national government together with the governments of each of the country's 17 autonomous communities.

Education in Bolivia, as in many other areas of Bolivian life, has a divide between Bolivia's rural and urban areas. Rural illiteracy levels remain high, even as the rest of the country becomes increasingly literate. Bolivia devotes 23% of its annual budget to educational expenditures, a higher percentage than in most other South American countries, albeit from a smaller national budget. A comprehensive, education reform has made some significant changes. Initiated in 1994, the reform decentralized educational funding in order to meet diverse local needs, improved teacher training and curricula, formalized and expanded intercultural bilingual education and changed the school grade system. Resistance from teachers’ unions, however, has slowed implementation of some of the intended reforms.

Education in Venezuela is regulated by the Venezuelan Ministry of Education. In 2010, Venezuela ranked 59th of 128 countries on UNESCO's Education for All Development Index. Nine years of education are compulsory. The school year is from September to June–July.

Education in Chile

Education in Chile is divided in preschool, primary school, secondary school, and technical or higher education (university).The levels of education in Chile are:

Education in Nigeria

Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. Local authorities take responsibility for implementing state-controlled policy regarding public education and state schools. The education system is divided into Kindergarten, Primary education, Secondary education and Tertiary education. Nigeria's central government has been dominated by instability since declaring independence from Britain, and, as a result, a unified set of education policies has not yet been successfully implemented. Regional differences in quality, curriculum, and funding characterize the education system in Nigeria. Currently, Nigeria possesses the largest population of out-of-school learning youth in the world.

Literacy in India

Literacy in India is a key for socio-economic progress, and the Indian literacy rate has grown to 74.04%. Despite government programmes, India's literacy rate increased only "sluggishly". The 2011 census, indicated a 2001–2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is slower than the growth seen during the previous decade. An old analytical 1990 study estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress.

Education in Cambodia

Education in Cambodia is controlled by the state through the Ministry of Education in a national level and by the Department of Education at the provincial level. The Constitution of Cambodia establishes that the state shall protect and upgrade citizen's rights to quality education at all levels, guaranteeing that all citizens have equal opportunity to earn a living. The state shall adopt an education program "according to the principle of modern pedagogy including technology and foreign languages," as well as the state controls public and private schools and classrooms at all levels. The Cambodian education system includes pre-school, primary, general secondary, higher education and non-formal education. The education system includes the development of sport, information technology education, research development and technical education. School enrollment has increased during the 2000s in Cambodia. USAID data shows that in 2011 primary enrollment reached 96% of the child population, lower secondary school 34% and upper secondary 21%.

Education in Ethiopia Overview of education

Education in Ethiopia had been dominated by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for many centuries until secular education was adopted in the early 1900s. Prior to 1974, Ethiopia had an estimated illiteracy rate well above 90% and compared poorly with the rest of Africa in the provision of schools and universities. After the Ethiopian Revolution, emphasis was placed on increasing literacy in rural areas. Practical subjects were stressed, as was the teaching of socialism. By 2015, the literacy rate had increased to 49.1%, still poor compared to most of the rest of Africa.

Education in Peru is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, which oversees formulating, implementing and supervising the national educational policy. According to the Constitution, education is compulsory and free in public schools for the initial, primary and secondary levels. It is also free in public universities for students who are unable to pay tuition and have an adequate academic performance.

Education in Ivory Coast

Education in Ivory Coast continues to face many challenges. The literacy rate for adults remains low: in 2000, it was estimated that only 48.7% of the total population was literate. Many children between 6 and 10 years are not enrolled in school, mainly children of poor families. The majority of students in secondary education are male. At the end of secondary education, students can sit the Baccalauréat examination. The country has universities in Abidjan, Bouaké, and Yamoussoukro.

Education in Haiti

The Haitian Educational System yields the lowest total rate in the education realm of the Western Hemisphere. Haiti's literacy rate of about 61% is below the 90% average literacy rate for Latin American and Caribbean countries. The country faces shortages in educational supplies and qualified teachers. The rural population is less educated than the urban. The 2010 Haiti earthquake exacerbated the already constrained parameters on Haiti's educational system by destroying infrastructure and displacing 50–90% of the students, depending on locale.

Education in the Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, education is free and compulsory at the elementary level, and free but non-mandatory at the secondary level. It is divided into four stages:

Education in Guatemala is free and compulsory for six years. Guatemala has a three-tier system of education starting with primary school, followed by secondary school and tertiary education, depending on the level of technical training. 74.5% of the population age 15 and over is literate, the lowest literacy rate in Central America. The official language of instruction is Spanish as mandated by the Education Law in 1965 when Spanish became the official language of Guatemala.

Gender inequality in El Salvador

Gender inequality can be found in various areas of Salvadoran life such as employment, health, education, political participation, and family life. Although women in El Salvador enjoy equal protection under the law, they are often at a disadvantage relative to their male counterparts. In the area of politics, women have the same rights as men, but the percentage of women in office compared to men is low. Though much progress has been made since the Salvadoran Civil War ended in 1992, women in El Salvador still face gender inequality.

World Literacy Foundation

The World Literacy Foundation(WLF) is a global not-for-profit that works to lift young people out of poverty through literacy. Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, the World Literacy Foundation operates on the principle that education is a basic human right. It aims to eradicate global illiteracy through the promotion of literacy and the provision of educational resources.


  1. "Ministry of Education. Government of El Salvador"
  2. "Education Statistics".
  3. "Education".
  4. "Die Kinder von El Salvador".
  5. "Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)". The World Bank. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  6. "Kultur und Bildung".
  7. "The world bank in El Salvador". 10/05/18.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. "Soziale Bewegung in El Salvador".
  9. "Learn about El Salvador".
  10. "New Higher Education Project Launches in El Salvador, Aims to Boost Economic Growth". December 11, 2014. ProQuest   1635105111.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)