Impacts of Remote Learning Measures on Educational Access and Quality in Ecuador

Stinson, Hannah

This analysis explores the ways in which the digital measures taken by Ecuador’s MINEDUC affected the access and quality of education in Ecuador, as well as impacts of these changes on existing socioeconomic gaps in the country. The exploratory study was based on two semi-structured interviews, one with an educational practitioner and one with a policymaker. The first interviewee was the director and sole multi-grade teacher of a public IBE elementary school in a rural zone of Ecuador. This interview took place in December, 2020. The second interviewee had served in a high rank position in the MINEDUC during the pandemic, and this interview was carried out in August, 2021. The analysis of the data indicated that participants conceptualized academic quality as care for the holistic wellbeing of students as well as taking opportunities provided by remote learning for innovation in education. Educational policy, curriculum, and practitioners emphasized these forms of quality education during the pandemic. Another finding was the roles of technology and teachers as educational gatekeepers. Educational access was mediated by access to technology, and/or teacher responsibility to deliver other forms of remote learning. Teacher responsibility was especially high in rural areas where access to technology is scarcer. Finally, digital divide is a term used in recent decades to describe the gap between those who are able to access and effectively use new technologies, and those who cannot (Van Dijk, 2012). Social distancing highlighted the digital divide in Ecuador, but the diversity of measures offered helped to mitigate adverse effects of the digital divide. Even where technological access was limited, the wealth of digital resources developed in response to the pandemic provided professional support to teachers.


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December 7, 2022