"Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world." The phrase of Nelson Mandela must be qualified because that education is very different according to geographic and also economic scopes. He ratifies it, with respect to the Canary Islands, the monograph Regional educational differences 2000-2016: conditions and results. Published at the end of last month by the BBVA Foundation and the Valencian Institute for Economic Research (IVIE) with data from the PISA and OECD reports, it is clear that the rate of repetitive students in the public centers of the islands is three times higher than in private schools ( 14.1 by 45.1). The biggest difference in the country, because the state average is 17.1 by 37.7.
This study concludes that public schools almost exclusively assume the training of students with less favorable environments, "especially in less developed regions such as the Canary Islands".
The document, which belongs to the series Essentials of the BBVA Foundation and the IVIE, distinguishes three steps in the conditions offered by families for education: more favorable, medium and less favorable environment. In public schools, media students predominate (60%), but up to a third come from less favorable ones. On the other hand, the private ones attend mainly (65%) the students of the most favorable and only the least (8%) are present.
"The socio-economic characteristics of the students' environment – the report clarifies – affect the conditions in which learning takes place, the pace of progress in the formative stages and the educational results". It seems obvious, "but sometimes you forget".
The public centers form 70% of the students of the Spanish educational system and the private ones, agreed or not, to the remaining 30%, says the report. One third of those who study in the public (33%) come from less favorable environments. But in the case of the Canary Islands they represent 51%, in the queue and only ahead of Andalusia (55%).
On the other side of the table, the archipelago is in third place with 59% of the private centers located in the most favorable environments.
Regarding the relative probability of being a repeater in less favorable environments compared to the more favorable ones, the Canary Islands also occupies the caboose with an average of 5.9 for the 5.5 of the country and no less than 1.8 of the OECD.
The authors of the study insist that "the environments of the students are clearly relevant to their formative results". An example: the average PISA score in Science of a student from a more favorable environment center exceeds that of a less favorable one in 67 points in Spain, which is equivalent to two years of study. But in the case of the Canary Islands, the difference reaches 94 PISA points.
Less favorable environments
For the authors of the work, in Navarra, Madrid, Catalonia and the Canary Islands "students with favorable socioeconomic backgrounds stand out more in their scores". Thus, the conclusions continue, "while in Catalonia and the Canary Islands the gap with students that come from less favorable environments is extended because their results are below the Spanish average, in the Community of Madrid and in Navarra, that does not happen" .
On the other hand, the research emphasizes that "the probability of being repetitive is greater in public schools and multiplies by 5.5 among students from unfavorable environments". In addition, "the percentage of repeaters before age 15 is much higher in public schools (37.7%) than in private schools (17.1%)".
In conclusion, the authors of the study consider that "policies of equal educational opportunities in Spain should be oriented to support especially students who face greater obstacles derived from their socio-economic environment and the centers in which they are formed".
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