Public vs. Private

This week, I’ve been privileged with the opportunity to visit another school, here, in Ecuador. Normally, I am at Unidad Educativa Municipal Quitumbe – a public school. This week, I visited Unidad Educativa Lev Vygotsky – a private school.

Schools in Ecuador are similar, yet different, to schools in the United States and the difference between public and private schools is also present. Besides free versus paid tuition, here are some other comparisons I have put together:

US to Ecuador:

The United States Ecuador
Elem. School K EGB (Educacion General Basica) 1
1 2
2 3
3 4
4 5
5 6
Middle School 6 7
7 8
8 9
High School 9 10
10 BGU (Bachillerato General Unificado) 1st BGU
11 2nd BGU
12 3rd BGU

Quitumbe (Public)

  • Located: Quito, Ecuador
  • Grades: 1-13
  • Classes/Grade: 3
  • Number of Students in Class: around 40
  • Special Education: full inclusion, no aid
  • School Colors: Green and Blue
  • School Opened: 1992
  • Student Uniform: Quitumbe blue sweatsuit, Green shorts, Quitumbe tshirt, white shoes; Jeans, white polo, Quitumbe green sweater, black shoes
  • Teacher Uniform: Formal (suits, sport jacket with jeans occasionally); Quitumbe sweatsuit
  • Available Technology: most teachers have a computer in the room, all have HP laptops, some classrooms have old TVs, the school has 2 projectors, other teachers have bought projectors for classrooms, teachers must buy printer if they want one at school – paper provided, sound systems in gym, main plaza and dance classroom
  • School-grounds: simple playground, another set of swings, 3 basketball/fut-sol courts, track, center plaza (wide open, brick space used for jump rope or other games)
  • School Arrangement: area of classroom pods for 1-4, area of classroom pods for 5-9, 10th is next to the science labs and dance classroom used by all grades, most of 11-13 are on separate campus across the driveway
  • Classroom Numbers: Grade, A/B/C (EX: Quinto A, Quinto B, Quinto C for the 3 fifth grade classes; Primero A, Primero B, Primero C for the 3 first grade classes)
  • Student Transportation: public bus/taxi system, parents, walk
  • Other: students plant and attend a mini-farm on campus – each class has a plot of land;

Lev Vygotsky (Private)

  • Located: Sangolqui, Ecuador
  • Grades: 3yo-5yo PreK, 1-13
  • Classes/Grade: 5
  • Number of Students in Class: around 20
  • Special Education: full inclusion, partial aid
  • School Colors: Green and Purple
  • School Opened: 1992
  • Student Uniform: Lev green sweatsuit, Lev tshirt, any gym shoes; jeans, white polo, white Lev sweater, black shoes
  • Teacher Uniform: exact same as students + blue Lev quarter zip, purple Lev vest
  • Available Technology: projectors in every room, teachers all have Chrome books, sound system throughout all of school, most classrooms have printers, e-Learning assigned to all grades, grades 11-13 have online books and homework
  • School-grounds: large, brightly colored playground, separate playground for preschool, synthetic soccer field, basketball court, fut-sol (concrete/smaller soccer field) court, 3 grass soccer fields, pool, trampoline/beams (gymnastics area)
  • School Pet: Llama
  • School Arrangement: 1 building with 3 floors for grade 1-10, a separate building for 11-13, another for preschool
  • Classroom Numbers: The Grade, Adjective (EX: Quintos Agradables – 5th Pleasant, Primeros Cariñosos – 1st, Loving…the students are referred to by their adjective as well)
  • Student Transportation: school bus system, parents, walking
  • Other: mothers returning from maternity leave may keep baby in classroom during the day, when baby is a bit older, childcare is provided until preschool age; students must stand as teacher enters classroom and until teachers asks them to sit down;

While I love Quitumbe and know this is the school I am meant to be at in Ecuador, Lev Vygotsky definitely has more resources. The methodologies of both schools are very similar and as far as English goes, elementary students are near the same ability but older students (10th grade +) are more advanced at Lev from what I observed. I was told that many students at Lev have taken courses in English – an expensive privilege for these students.

I love the challenges of Quitumbe and am looking forward to more opportunities to fully teach my classes!

Thank you to Jaime and Charito for making this experience possible as well as offering their home, food and family to me for the week – I’m extremely blessed!

Happy Friday to all! Cheers to the weekend!!


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