13,824 Venezuelans study in Ecuador
The United Nations points out that the migration of minors, who arrive in low-income countries, impacts educational systems. Maryori Rodríguez, of Venezuelan nationality, leaves her three children in the mornings at a school located in the La Villaflora sector, in the south of Quito.
The mother says that at the time of registering her children in Ecuador she had no problems. She presented the passports of the three and registered them. She is happy with Ecuadorian education, considering it more demanding than her country. “My children feel happy, so far no teacher or classmate has discriminated against them in the classroom.”
According to the Ministry of Education, 13,824 Venezuelans are incorporated into the public system of Ecuador. Alfredo Astorga, vice minister of the State portfolio, quantifies that in the country there are about 220,000 migrants from that South American nation. For Astorga, the number of foreigners does not reach 1% of the student population.
In that group are the two sons of Estephani and Roy. The first scion, 3 years old, attends the Guaguacentro, in the neighborhood of Monjas, in the south-east of the capital. The couple, who has been in Ecuador for three years, says that the child was welcomed into the classroom a year ago. “We present the documents legalized and ready.”
Currently 34,000 children of different nationalities are enrolled in the national territory. “On the subject of Venezuelan children and adolescents, the State receives 40%,” says Astorga. According to the official, the Ecuadorian State guarantees access to education at any time during the school year for minors who come from abroad.
However – he points out – there are elements that affect the student population, both migrant and national. For example, the lack of educational strategies and economic resources. In the case of teachers, he mentions, they are not accompanied and reinforced by the educational policy to work on inclusion issues.
But among the efforts made by the State portfolio is the work on inclusion that takes place in 150 schools, where migration issues are addressed. “The children of foreigners are cared for, especially by the fiscal education system that, as we know, carries structural problems; that’s why private, municipal and other institutions must join this effort “, Astorga notes.
Ana Vohlonen, Education Officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), adds that 250,000 members of the age group are excluded. In addition, according to the international entity, 380,000 are lagging behind. “We remind the educational districts that there are agreements, which allow flexible enrollment for people in vulnerable conditions.” Vohlonen stresses that despite the efforts there are flaws in the application of rights in the sector.
Margarita Velazco, from the Social Observatory, questions some of the results presented. She wonders if migrant children are incorporated agilely into the educational system or if there are some impediments.
In addition, she clarifies that many of the Venezuelan children have a lower educational level and it is unknown if they have accompaniment or leveling. On quality, explains that the agency recorded that in the education system 26% of teachers still hit children “Do children suffer this type of mistreatment by teachers?”.
On the other hand, Velazco indicates that, according to the Observatory, between 3% and 4% of students said in a survey that they would not take a Venezuelan child. “How does the Ministry work on these issues?” (I)