The measure of the schools is to solve competition debts in students that were caused by the pandemic
The increase in class hours in the private schoolswhich will go from 25 to 30 each week, will help students, mainly in kindergarten and basic education, receive English classes, which will allow them to reach high school with a broad knowledge of said language, assured the president of the Association of Private Schools of El Salvador (Acpes)Javier Hernandez.
During the inauguration of the school year in schools, held on Tuesday, he announced the increase in class hours in said sector to fill some gaps left by the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.
This Friday he confirmed what they will use said increase in hours during an interview on a television channel.
“In private schools, English is taught from kindergarten to sixth grade, although the program does not require it. We work one hour a week at the beginning, then two, then three. This extension of hours gives us space to work five hours of English class in basic and nursery, weekly. This means that each child who goes to a private school, in this extended schedule, is as if they were receiving the (normal) academic load and also a special English course ”, she expressed.
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One of the purposes that private schools have is that the students of said sector are the best prepared; but also that it allows them to have greater opportunities and, even, “we can export it,” said Hernández during the interview program.
He pointed out that the most competitive students, in the academic, technical, artistic and sports areas, among others, are in that sector.
Although he recognized that they have great challenges in 2023 due to the effects caused by the pandemic, which began to affect education from the 2020 school year.
“We are looking to work 30 hours a week, one more hour a day, and that would mean a great benefit for us because it gives us an action where we can expand the extracurricular area and also expand the strengths that we can have in the curricular areas that were left at the time of the pandemic. We will not be able to remedy what the pandemic produced, such as deficiency or mediocrity, if we do not extend class hours, that will not be possible. You have a serious commitment this school year: first, develop the year 2023; but in addition to that, you have the commitment to remedy what 2020, 2021 and 2022 left us as a debt of student skills, at least those we still have in the classroom, because those who have already graduated have already graduated! ”, analyzed the education professional.
The extension of class hours in schools will also strengthen other initiatives that some are already promoting, such as Christian guidance, homework clubs, nutrition, art, and sports.
Private schools have an enrollment for this year of about 200,000 students.
Hernández said that 200 schools, in different areas of the country, have had between 5% and 10% increase in students enrolled until January 16.
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In addition, nearly 600 private schools in the country have the same enrollment as in 2022.
“Those measurements for us mean important analysis points; Of course, there are 200 schools that have not reached 90% of the enrollment that they had last year compared to this year, ”he added.
The association estimated that, in 2022, about 15,000 young people went to study from the private to the public sector; but that this year’s figure is different, without specifying the data.
Hernández argued that one of the factors by which parents “forced themselves to be in the public system” was due to the class modality that was implemented at the beginning of the pandemic, which “was not even (was) virtual.” because the government had not delivered the devices, computers or tablets, to students and educators.
“But at that time there was a migration of students from the private sector to the public sector that was enough to nearly bankrupt a lot of colleges. And why did they migrate? because they began to analyze the lines of work that the Ministry of Education had given and then they said ‘if we are going to be the same in schools as in schools that are going to pass a grade even without studying, then it is better not to pay for them to study’. So they transferred to the public system because going up a grade was the same in one place as in the other, as had been regulated at that time,” said the president of the association.
In 2021, blended attendance began to be applied and the private system was already implementing its own initiatives, which meant less migration.
Another factor that had repercussions for the enrollment of students in the private sector to decrease was the prohibition by the Ministry of Education for a student who had received a computer or tablet to take them with them when enrolling in a school.
Currently the student can enroll in a private institution and keep the equipment, explained the president of the association.