Indigenous students in El Salvador with a ‘lower’ education level

This content was published on November 30, 2021 – 2:44 PM

San Salvador, November 30 (EFE). Indigenous students in primary, third and sixth grades in El Salvador get “lower” results, which is why the Central American country is called to “progress towards more inclusive and equitable education,” according to a study published by UNESCO on Tuesday.

The 2019 Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE), released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Fund (UNESCO), revealed that El Salvador scores in the regional average in reading and science, but that math scores are “significantly lower” than the regional average.

In the analysis, a total of 11,734 Salvadoran students—5814 third grade and 5,920 sixth grade—were taken into account, tests were developed in 2019, curricular areas were assessed for reading, writing, math, and science, and document details were evaluated.

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay were part of the assessment, and according to the report, 160,000 students in third and sixth grades from 16 countries in the region performed.

The genesis of people and the reading gap

According to the results, it was observed that indigenous students get lower results compared to the rest of the student body.

Additionally, El Salvador has reading gaps where girls score higher than boys, a situation that is a trend in the region.

With regard to science and mathematics, “no significant differences” were observed between boys and girls, according to a report by the European Center for Education and Training.

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The coordinator of the Latin American Laboratory for Education Quality Assessment, Carlos Henriquez, emphasized that El Salvador “faces the urgent challenge of putting in place a development plan for the education system and strengthening the institutional framework in order to implement the next steps while prioritizing the transition towards a more inclusive and equitable education.”

In addition, Henríquez points out, “the importance of gender equality and cultural diversity must be recognized and educational opportunities must be enhanced so that each student has the essential learning for his or her development.”

Regional average in reading and science, but low in math

In reading, in third grade, El Salvador has a score of 697, a result equal to the regional average in this study –697-, and has a similar proportion of students (43.6%) in A-level (lowest-performing) than the region’s front (44.3) %).

In the sixth grade, the Salvadoran student body scored 699 points, which is the regional equivalent average of -696 points, and had a lower proportion of students (19.6%) in the first (lowest) level than the regional average (23.3%).

However, in mathematics, in third grade, students scored an average of 691 points, a result lower than the regional average of -698 points.

In addition, the country had a higher percentage of students at first level (49.9%) than the average in Central European countries of education (47.7%).

The report notes that in sixth grade, Salvadoran students scored 676 points, a rate “significantly lower” than the district average of -696.

In addition, El Salvador had a higher percentage of students (57.8%) at A-level (the lowest performing level) than the rest of the region (49.2%), thus “the investment made during the past years to enhance learning in this discipline”.

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In science, in sixth grade, Salvadoran students averaged 705 points, a result similar to the 2019 ERCE regional average (702 points).

In this major, the highest percentage of the assessed population was at the second performance level (47.2%).

Absence from class, limiting learning

In El Salvador, aspects related to students and their families related to higher education achievements are access to pre-school education, weekly school days, parental involvement and parental expectations and the higher socioeconomic level of families

However, those aspects associated as learning limitations are repetition and absence from classes.

On the other hand, aspects of the faculty and its practices associated with further learning are the educational expectations of teachers, concern for the well-being of students, the implementation of practices to support learning and the organization and planning of teaching.

Conversely, disruption in the classroom is associated with decreased learning, the report adds. EFE

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