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Educational reforms in Ecuador approved by the Assembly do not eliminate exam for public higher education

August 16, 2021

Original Article:

The original article requires translation. 

Andrés Morales says that he had only hours of happiness when he believed that he would now enter the public university without taking any exam such as the so-called Being Bachelor, which until January 2020 was mandatory for third-year high school students in Ecuador, since it represented 30 % of the grade to graduate and at the same time it was the only requirement to access a place in the country's free higher education.

This is because on Tuesday the 9th the final text of the reform project of the Organic Law of Intercultural Education (LOEI) was approved in the National Assembly, in whose seventeenth general provision it is indicated that "the evaluation processes of high school students may in no case be considered as admission mechanisms to the Higher Education System ”, as happened until January 2020.

And although the Executive still needs to show its agreement or leave (partially or totally) this reform law (which would modify almost 80% of the current one), the initial 'celebrations' of students and parents did not wait. "Finally there will be no that test and now I will be able to study whatever I want at the university," said Nancy Carrión, who will finish high school this year.

However, the mandatory test is maintained to get a place and enter the public university. This is another process and is in charge of the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (Senescyt), an entity that on Wednesday 10 published a statement in which it said that the university entrance exam is still in force, since the Higher education is governed by the Organic Law of Higher Education (LOES) and, therefore, has no effect on what is approved with the LOEI (which governs secondary education, from initial stage to high school).

Senescyt's social media accounts highlighted that the statement arose after the “misinformation” that was generated by an alleged elimination of the university entrance exam.

“The Examination of Access to Higher Education (EAES) has been prepared by the country's universities and polytechnic schools to guarantee the relevance of its contents and the quality of the evaluation. For the first academic period of 2021, the EAES will be applied on March 24 ”, read part of the statement from the Senescyt in which it was indicated that to obtain a place in the public university, in addition to the mandatory test, the grade note and if the applicant is in a vulnerable situation.

It was also highlighted that since April 2020 the Ser Bachelor exam was no longer used for purposes related to higher education.

Already in February 2020, the Minister of Education, Monserrat Creamer, said that third year high school students would take two tests: one that would be the degree exam, which would be in charge of Ineval and with the standards of the Ministry of Education, and the other for admission to the university, which would be in charge of the Senescyt.

And in early April 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic underway, Creamer announced that it would not take the Bachelor's Degree.

In Ecuador, since 2014 the Ser Bachelor test was taken, which at that time replaced the bachelor's exams. And before, since 2012, it was mandatory to take the National Exam for Higher Education (ENES). Then, in 2016, these two evaluations were joined and it was known only as the Being Bachelor test, which gave the grade to graduate and the score to access a free university place.

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