The president of the Association of Private Schools of El Salvador (Acpes), Javier Hernández, reported that, according to estimates by the organization he directs, approximately 15,000 students migrated from the private sector to the public education sector in 2022.
Likewise, the head of the Acpes positively valued the decision of the Ministry of Education (Mined) to approve the start of face-to-face classes this year, which began on January 17 in the private sector.
The migration of students from the private to the public sector has increased in the last two years. According to Mined data, in the 2021–2022 school year, more than 12,200 students transferred. In January 2021, it was recorded that more than 900 students had mobilized.
According to teachers, directors, and parents, the transfer of students from the private to the public sector has its main origin in the strategies carried out by the government of President Nayib Bukele in the education sector, since public schools offer multiple benefits for students.
In 2022, this administration invested 5.1% of GDP in education, the highest investment in recent decades. The investment meets international standards and has enabled the delivery of more than 1.2 million computers and tablets for all public school students and teachers, which include connectivity packages and access to educational platforms.
In addition, the Mined has delivered study books, food packages, uniforms, and school supplies. In March 2022, the Mined began delivering textbooks for the subjects of language and literature and science and technology to students in basic education and secondary education.
In the first installment, coordinated by the Minister of Education, Mauricio Pineda, 1.5 million free books were allocated, which represents economic relief for parents. This investment has made it possible to establish major transformations in the system, such as connectivity, teacher training, and school meals, among others.
Similarly, this year educational materials will be distributed for children in their initial education, supporting the implementation of the Crecer Juntos law. Therefore, for the first time in the country, children have guaranteed access to and permanence in the formal education system.
Likewise, together with the office of the first lady, Gabriela de Bukele, more than 17,000 early childhood teachers and specialists were trained in the training plan on the law. All this was achieved thanks to the largest investment in education in the history of El Salvador. The education budget for 2023 amounts to almost $1,502 million, which responds to President Bukele’s commitment to transform the inherited public education system in order to promote true social, cultural, and economic progress in the country and to generate equal opportunities.
Similarly, early childhood health and nutrition are part of the educational reform My New School.This reform also includes improving comprehensive care for children, technology, teacher training, and curriculum renewal in all public schools.
The health and nutrition program will serve 100% of the students with social programs and will also have a new focus on eating, with special attention to early childhood. Likewise, the ambitious program of the government for the public education system includes the promotion of breastfeeding and wellness.