Analysis and Best Practices of the USAID/El Salvador Higher Education for Economic Growth Activity (HEA)
Better Education, Better Skills, Better Economy, and a Better Future for El Salvador's Youth
The purpose of this Best Practice Brief is to provide guidance to USAID staff and implementing partners who are developing higher education interventions focused on responsiveness to labor and economic growth needs. Technical and soft skills gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have had a lasting impact. This was highlighted by the recent example of Intel closing most of its Costa Rica operations after the country’s universities failed to produce enough science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates to meet employer demand.
In El Salvador, as in other countries in LAC, a complex tangle of problems affects the school-to-work pipeline. These include teacher quality and training, lack of funding for public education, longstanding inequality in educational access, weak ministries of education and labor, and high levels of youth dropouts (particularly between grades 3 and 7).