School and Education in Ecuador

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.

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 illiterate.

Ecuador Country Flag

1979-81 Reformer

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.