The constitution stipulates that all children attend school for 9 years and that this be free. Although the primary school enrolment rate exceeds 95%, 25% of children will have dropped out by the end of the 5th grade. Information is scanty, however there are believed to be approximately 1,088 primary schools where an average of 1.5 teachers per school educate an average of 63 pupils through 6 grades.
The education system in Ecuador is very strong. There are over 100 secondary schools. Grades 7 – 9 are free. Thereafter parents must pay school fees if they would like their children to study further. When this happens students have a choice of attending classes in for example computer skills, maths, science or social studies.
Information on vocational training is scant too, and in many cases on-job training is little more than sitting next to nellie. A number of international aid programs are in place the help the government improve the situation. Inevitably it is the rural poor that are the most disadvantaged.
The primary university is Universidad San Francisco de Quito in the city of that name. While highly regarded locally it scores poorly in international rankings. It was founded in 1988 as a non-profit organization to plug a gap in the country’s education system.
There were originally just 3 colleges (business, applied sciences, communications and culture). Over the years a fuller spread has been added.