There is a 6-year compulsory school in Ecuador, and
almost all children start school. More than half of all
pupils take higher education, and 20% of pupils take some
form of higher education. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Ecuador.
There are many ethnic minority groups in the country, and
in practice there have been two different school systems, a
Spanish and a bilingual intercultural system. In 1992, the
two-tier system became a separate administrative unit.
Illiteracy has declined sharply in recent years, and
approx. 10% (2000) of the adult population is considered
In August 1979, Jaime Roldós took over the presidency as
candidate for the Concentración de Fuerzas Populares and the
Democracia Popular (People's Democracy). Ecuador was now
re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, China and
Albania and trying to implement a reform program that also
included the peasant population and the marginalized sectors
of the cities. But at the same time, it faced Parliament's
hostile stance and the United States' opposition to a policy
aimed at promoting respect for human rights and isolating
the military dictatorships in South America.
In late 1981, the "5 Day War" broke out between Ecuador
and Peru. There was a conflict about areas that were poorly
marked in the 1942 protocol.
In May of that year, Roldós died in a plane crash that
has never been cleared, and his vice president Osvaldo
Hurtado took over the presidential post. The following year,
the country emerged in the most serious social crisis after
the military had left power. The consequence was that the
country, on the one hand, embarked on the IMF 's structural
adjustment program, and on the other that it embarked on a
military reconstruction aimed at making the country's
military as strong as the Peruvian.
1984-88 Unconditional support for the United States
In the 1984 election, Conservative León Febres Cordero
triumphed from the Christian Social Party. Febres Cordero
largely implemented its stated policy: stimulating free
business, developing agriculture and mining, strengthening
foreign investment in the country and establishing bilateral
relations with the IMF. Following an agreement with 400
creditor banks (which had lent the country money), 34% of
export revenue was to be used for interest and repayments on
the country's foreign debt.
Internationally, Febres was a staunch supporter of
President Reagan's aggressive policy in Central America. In
October 1985, he cut off diplomatic relations with Nicaragua
and in a number of cases financed travel and other expenses
for the Nicaraguan counter-guerrilla.