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In a nutshell

It is well known; education is one of the most important pillars of enhancement in a country's living conditions.

Like other developing countries, Ecuador focuses on education, but there is still a lot to improve.

In 2006, NGO Intervida concluded that:

  • many pupils repeat grades at school and dropout rates are high;
  • in rural areas, parents do not register their children for school and consider that going to school is not useful;
  • economic factors have consequences; poor families cannot pay for registration fees and educational material. Moreover, many parents strongly believe that a child who goes to school is a child that cannot work.

There are more than 430,000 working children in Ecuador.

In the country, 'school infrastructure' is poor, subsequently there are a lack of facilities and resources, the system is also unable to provide teachers with pedagogical diplomas.

52% of schools need to undergo massive rehabilitation and 36% should be completely rebuilt.  Only 12% have the minimum conditions required to provide children with a decent education.

School buildings are not suitable for weather conditions and problems arise due to ash from volcanoes, rain, floods and insects; which often make their way into classrooms.

Few schools have fire/security systems and emergency exits.

88% of the educational material is damaged and chairs are missing in about 46% of schools.

As in other countries, there are some private schools providing necessary conditions for pupils, however conditions between public and private schools are vastly disproportionate.

Additionally, there are very few links between public and private school systems. Subsequently the overall quality of Ecuador's education system is not enhanced and any benefits in having the two systems disappear.


In the words of an Ecuadorian


1. It is necessary that the Ecuadorian government addresses the issue of education and provides sufficient funds in order to improve the overall quality of education.

2. It is essential that the Ecuadorian government takes the appropriate 'educational' measures so as to eradicate behaviors that discriminate school kids according to their origin.

3. The Ecuadorian government must guarantee that educational material does not include social and traditional stereotypes.


The poverty of the indigenous population and the increase of emigration towards urban centers, where living conditions are well below expectation. Families have no option but to seek for new revenues, through infantile work.


39% of teenage girls and 61% of teenage boys are forced to work.


These teenagers report an average of 12 working hours per day and dangerous working conditions, harmful to their physical and psychological well-being." [1]


More information

Education in Ecuador (Wikipedia)

Education in Ecuador (University of Washington)

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[1] In « Informe Alternativo A La Convención Sobre Los Derechos Del Niño Y La Niña - Periodo: 1996 - 2002 », Cladem Ecuador