17 August, 2022

The Foundation for Higher Education reveals the literacy status of Salvadoran children

Ricardo Poma, president of the FES

La FES presenta su sexto cuaderno de investigación “¿Y si no aprendo a leer? an analysis of the performance in reading of Salvadoran children and inequality "

The Foundation for Higher Education (FES) presents his sixth research notebook “What if I don't learn to read? an analysis of the performance in reading of Salvadoran children and inequality ".
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

The Savior – The Foundation for Higher Education (FES) presented his sixth research notebook called ¿And if I don't learn to read? An analysis of the reading performance of Salvadoran children and inequality. This research focuses its analysis on the links between the performance of Salvadoran children in reading and their socioeconomic realities.

Not only is the importance of the household income level or the educational level of the parents highlighted, but also deeper elements of the cultural capital of families, like the importance they give to education, the strategies to accompany the educational processes and the possibilities of dedicating time and resources to reading.

Long before the arrival of COVID-19, learning to read has not been achieved, and this is a global and national problem.

Carolina Rovira, coordinator of the FES expresses that “a society that does not prioritize basic learning, like reading, is designing development strategies that lack foundation. Because, Investing to ensure early childhood learning should be a priority goal, since this is the way to anticipate school failure, the desertion or low productivity of people despite having finished school ".

The sixth FES notebook uses data from the EGRA survey (2018), to relate reading performance to cultural capital. The latter was approximated in the survey with the education of the parents, the practice of reading at home and the existence of books at home. The cultural capital index increases as more of these factors exist.

Learn to read and write on time, and at the expected level, is essential in the academic journey of childhood, skill they are expected to acquire among the 7 and the 10 years. But nevertheless, the results show that less cultural capital is associated with poorer reading performance.

Second-grade students from homes where reading is encouraged read 10 or more additional words per minute than those for which it is not encouraged. This represents one of the main indicators of reading ability.

Although not knowing how to read can have a tremendous impact on the future development of children, in many areas of his life, the results show an alarming educational reality. According to the analyzes carried out, 4 decade 5 Second-grade students with low cultural capital are at risk of school failure.

Meanwhile, qualitative research shows the central role that the family plays in providing children with cultural capital. In fact, in particular, women are often primarily responsible for educational training at home; considering that in vulnerable households, the responsibility of accompanying education rivals other tasks, like housework, labor, affective, of health, among other.

This accompaniment is conditioned, naturally, by the educational level of the mothers. More educated mothers can be more supportive of their children's learning process, which implies that they usually acquire additional reading and didactic material, they practice reading with them, structure the time of daily activities including academic ones, maintain active communication with teachers, and they even pay for academic reinforcements.

Instead, Mothers with fewer years of schooling usually limit themselves to motivating them and asking about pending tasks, since they do not have the basic skills to accompany them more widely. To this must be added that in households in a condition of vulnerability, books for children to practice reading are not usually present. Therefore, access to reading material is limited to that accessed through schools..

One of the main conclusions drawn from the findings is that schools should be spaces that compensate for the lack of household resources, including cultural capital, and teachers must have initial and continuous training that allows them to recognize and face, with inclusive strategies, the different cultural baggage of the student body.

Thus, schools should be equipped with materials, books and resources that allow an adequate implementation of the curriculum and its assimilation, even for children from vulnerable families who lack these resources at home.

The FES research focuses its analysis on the links between the performance of Salvadoran children in reading and their socioeconomic realities. Photo: Courtesy.