In Ecuador, there is a nine-year compulsory
schooling from the age of six. The proportion of
children attending school has increased significantly in
a couple of decades. Nowadays, almost all children in
primary school start, although some then go on classes
and one in ten will drop off completely before school is
Two out of three children also attend the three-year
high school that follows preschool. For small children,
pre-school from the age of four is offered, at least in
The dropouts are many not least among the rural poor.
Especially girls from the indigenous peoples often fall
away. Tuition and textbooks in state schools are free of
charge, but factors such as the family being dependent
on the children helping to work or the cost of school
uniforms being too high contribute to dropouts. The
standard in public schools, especially in rural areas,
is rather low due to teachers' poor education and lack
of resources. In some parts of the country there are
also not enough schools.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
Ecuador, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Ecuador, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
In the cities, many children go to well-to-do parents
instead of paid private schools with better resources.
There are both secular and religious private schools.
Catholic schools are the most common, but more and more
Protestant schools have been added. About one in five
children in primary school attend private schools. In
high school, the proportion is double: two out of five.
Major investments have been made in education during
the 2000s. In 2007, President Rafael Correa (2007-2017)
announced a "state of emergency" for the education
sector in order to channel more state resources to the
school. In connection with this, a comprehensive program
was launched according to the Cuban model to increase
reading and writing skills. Earlier, a large investment
in adult education had reduced the proportion of
illiterate persons from one quarter in 1974 to less than
one tenth in 2007, and thereafter it has dropped
further. Today, it is mainly elderly people living in
rainforest areas who cannot read and write.
There are a large number of universities and
colleges, both state and private. Higher education is
now free of charge. This has led to an increased influx
of students, but since the allocations for teaching have
not kept pace, the quality has decreased.
In an effort to remove Ecuador from oil dependency
and towards a knowledge-based economy, the Correa
government launched an Ecuadorian "Silicon Valley" - a
"City of Knowledge", Yachay, in the northern part of the
Andean highlands. The plan was for the city of Yachay to
become a tax-free zone. The University of Yachay Tech
was formally inaugurated in 2014 and five years later
had six different programs 1,500 students.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
91.3 percent (2016)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
94.4 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
12.8 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
12.8 percent (2015)
Demonstrations despite coronary restrictions
Several thousands of people are participating in protest marches across the
country, against the drastic financial measures taken by President Lenín Moreno
to deal with the corona crisis. The protesters wear mouth guards and keep away
from each other, in accordance with the recommendations. The trade union
movement believes that workers must pay too high a price compared to the
country's elite. The week before, the president announced cuts that include
closures of state-owned companies and embassies around the world. At least 3,200
people are estimated to have died in covid-19, making Ecuador the hardest hit
country in South America, per capita.
Halved salaries in state management
President Lenín Moreno, ministers and others in the state leadership cut
their wages by half due to the corona pandemic that is hitting the economy hard.
Ecuador continues to be severely affected with over 30,000 confirmed cases of
infection and approximately 1,650 deaths. Prior to the cut, the president earned
$ 5,000 a month, compared to the minimum salary of about $ 400.
Corona "like a bomb" in Guayaquil
New data indicates that the corona crisis has hit even harder against the
province of Guayas, where the three-millionth city of Guayaquil is located, than
previously reported. The number of deceased in the first two weeks in April
amounts to 6,700, compared with 1,000 during the corresponding period in normal
cases. Guayaquil's Mayor Cynthia Viteri says the infection has hit the city "as
if a bomb struck." Viteri himself has been ill but recovered from covid-19.
Guayaquil has been hit hardest by corona throughout Latin America, many die at
home or are found dead outdoors Despite many concerns, many defy the curfew that
applies for 15 hours a day and goes out, often in search of food.
Ex-President Correa sentenced to prison
After a two-month trial, former President Rafael Correa, in his absence, is
sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption. Correa and 19 co-defendants
are convicted of receiving $ 7.5 million in bribes from companies in exchange
for government contracts. The bribes must have been paid as campaign funds for
the 2013 elections. Among the convicted are several former ministers, MPs and
businessmen, as well as former Vice President Jorge Glas, who has already been
sentenced to prison in another case (see December 2017). The
convicted are suspended from politics for 25 years. Correa, who is also
prosecuted in another case involving kidnapping (see June 2018),
lives in Belgium. He complains that the court is engaged in political
persecution. The judgment may be appealed.
Dead are picked up on the streets
Police and military have fetched at least 150 corpses from streets and homes
for three days in Guayaquil, the country's largest city, hit particularly hard
by the corona pandemic. In social media, images and desperate calls for help
from people who do not know where to turn when someone dies are circulating. The
curfew prevents the handling. Guayaquil is reported to have the highest
mortality rate in covid-19 in all of Latin America.
Extensive restrictions due to corona
24th of March
President Lenín Moreno criticizes people who violate the curfew prevailing to
curb the new corona virus, and calls it in a TV speech for irresponsible acts to
be compared to "terrorism". All air traffic to Ecuador was stopped the week
before to try to stop the virus. Ecuador is the second worst hit in Latin
America, after Brazil. The government has ordered the military to take control
of the worst-exposed province of Guayas, which now becomes a "national security
Opposition members are granted asylum in Mexico
Four MEPs and seven other members of the opposition are granted political
asylum in Mexico. The four MPs, who belong to ex-President Rafael Correa's
National Revolutionary Movement Party, have stayed at the Mexican embassy in
Quito since the unrest in October, but have now flown to Mexico by regular