Education policy in Ecuador and US
Education policy in Ecuador
Education policy is a common policy for any society or country. Since the ancient times, societies have been developing efficient systems of transmitting knowledge from generation to generation (Johnson, 2017). As Jameson (1999) stipulates, the earliest roles of education were transmission of cultural values from one generation to another and inculcation of social expectations in the people. During these early times, education was done informally by old members of the society. In the present day, there have been vast changes on the roles of education which have called for adoption of more sophisticated approaches of delivering education (Post, 2011). Every society in the present day is supposed to determine the goals of education then come up with the most efficient and effective approaches of achieving them. A culmination of these goals and approaches of achieving them as well as techniques of evaluating achievement is what is referred to as education policy. In this paper, we are interested in analysing education policy in Ecuador. After analysing this policy, we shall also make a comparison between education policy in Ecuador and that of US. This comparison will be aimed at pointing out any similarities and differences between the two countries as far as education is concerned.
Education policy in Ecuador
Ecuador is one of the countries in the world where education has been given preference as a tool for driving social change Aviles & Simons (2013). Literacy rate in Ecuador started climbing up after creation of repeated policies and laws to ensure that education was accessible to all other than being a preserve of the a few people (Johnson, 2017). There are several advancements that have been made by government of Ecuador to ensure accessibility to education. To begin with, since the last decade of the 20th century, the government of Ecuador has been progressing on an agenda of increasing learning institutions on order to make sure that all children can access education. Apart from increasing number of learning institutions, government of Ecuador has also expanded education financing through its exchequer to ensure that it is affordable to all (Jameson, 1999). All these are policies that have been formulated an implemented with the goal of increasing literacy level and also improving level of skilled manpower in line with the country’s development goals.
Education system in Ecuador
Ecuador’s education system is one of its kinds. According to the education policy that was formulated in the year 2000, Ecuador’s education system can be summarised as 6:3:3 (Post, 2011). This means that six years of education are spent in primary level and another six years are spent in secondary and advanced levels (Johnson, 2017). According to Torres (2016), unlike in many parts of the world where pre-primary takes 2 to 3 years, in Ecuador it takes only one year. Early education policy was formulated to ensure that children take time to mature at home before joining formal education. According to this policy, it is important for a child to take time to interact with the society and attain the required cognitive maturity to join formal education. Once a child has attained the age of 7 years, he or she attends pre-primary schools where they are introduced to leaning before joining primary school (Jameson, 1999).
Education financing in Ecuador
Education in Ecuador is mostly financed by the government. However, at the advanced levels of education, learners are required to pay fees. Basically, free education in Ecuador starts from grade 1 to grade 9. Here all expenses involved in education are financed by government of Ecuador through its exchequer (Jameson, 1999). Every financial year, an education budget is drawn then it is forwarded to finance department. Education planning and budgeting is made by the ministry of education. Education fund are then allocated to different schools depending on such factors are level of school and population.
Impact of education policy in Ecuador
Education policy in Ecuador has had major impact on all spheres of life. To begin with, through this policy, the government of Ecuador has managed to increase literacy levels to a high of about 94.35 percent. In the year 2013, literacy levels in Ecuador were 93.29%, this increased to 94.22% in 2014 and 94.46 in 2015. However, in the year 2016, there was a slight fall in literacy level occasioned by slight economic tide that affected financing especially for advanced levels where people are supposed to finance themselves (Post, 2011). Through this education policy Ecuador has managed to improve industrial growth as manpower is more skilled. At present, Ecuador supplies more that 70% of its manpower (Jameson, 1999). Apart from improvement of manpower, education policy in Ecuador has also been instrumental in promotion of health and improving standards of living. There are high levels of health awareness in Ecuador compared to other countries in Latin America. Finally, education has promoted social interaction and coexistence as people spend time together in education institutions and work. This has strengthened the social pillars of the society which are the foundations of peace love and unity.
Comparison between education policies in Ecuador and US
In US education policy is different from Ecuador. Looking at policy goals, it can be clearly stated that the goals of education policy in Ecuador are more focused on education access and affordability. This is not the case in US; here most policies are focused on education content and quality. The “No child left behind” act of 2001 is one of the greatest milestones that US has made in order to achieve its goals in education (Cooley, 2015). In US, different from Ecuador, a learner starts attending school with 6 years. Pre-primary education takes 2 years with the first being learning through play year or what is commonly referred to as “Montessori learning”. This term originated from one scholar in education called Maria Montessori. She is regarded as the matron of kindergarten movement where she agitated for the concept of learning through play (Torres, 2016).
One similarity between the two systems is that both provide 3 years to be spent in elementary and secondary education combined. On the issue of financing, there is more in US where the issue of education management is left upon individual states (Thomas, 2000). Education department in US is a state agency that co-ordinates education matters within a state. A similar role in Ecuador is played by ministry of education. According to Cooley (2015), education funding in US is done through the federal education reserve fund that is managed by the state. In Ecuador, education is funded by government of Ecuador through its finance department. In conclusion, it can be stated that in both cases goals of education are similar but policies are different based on the goals that each policy is supposed to achieve.
Aviles, E., & Simons, M. (2013) To Be Accountable in Neoliberal Times: An Exploration of Educational Policy in Ecuador. Policy Futures In Education, 11(1), 1-12
Cooley, A. (2015). Funding US higher education: policy making theories reviewed; Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 37(6), 673-681
Jameson, K. (1999). Moving ‘social reform’ to centre stage: lessons from higher education in Ecuador. Higher Education Policy, 12(2), 123-140
Johnson, M. (2017) Contemporary higher education reform in Ecuador: Implications for faculty recruitment, hiring, and retention. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 68
Post, D. (2011) Constitutional Reform and the Opportunity for Higher Education Access in Ecuador Since 1950. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19, 20
Thomas, J. (2000). Falling through the cracks: Crack-exposed children in the US public schools: an educational policy issue. Journal Of Education Policy, 15(5), 575-583
Torres, I. (2016). Policy windows for school-based health education about nutrition in Ecuador: Table 1; Health Promotion International, daw037