Social Integration in Education in Contexts of Insecurity: Revisiting the Role of the Education Community
Ensuring access and retention of children and youth in the public education system in El Salvador is an ongoing challenge. This calls for the school setting to be engaging and safe and, furthermore, offering relevant and quality education. Beyond an adequate school infrastructure and appropriate equipment, schools need a friendly environment where students, parents and school staff interact, and students develop a sense of belonging (UNDP, 2018, p. 118). Nevertheless, public education is markedly deficient in terms of infrastructure, academic conditions and support, enrollment rates in secondary education and academic performance (Hernández, 2014). Furthermore, street gangs and the insecurity associated with them have become part of many schools’ surroundings and daily existence (Ministry of Education, 2018).
Therefore, this study aims to understand the ways schools and their teaching staff try to provide an adequate and safe environment for students, and how the involvement of the education community contributes to the performance of the school and the inclusion of students who live in insecure settings.
This study was made possible thanks to the cooperation between the people and the government of the United States of America, through USAID and the Children and Youth Education project implemented by Fedisal in 700 schools in El Salvador.