Higher Education and Indigenous Nationalities: Challenges for Inclusion in the Ecuadorian Amazonian RegionReport as inadecuate




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The new constitution of Ecuador gives importance to the less privileged social sectors such as indigenous peoples having access to Higher Education, thus responding to the claims of these individuals and their leaders. However, the example of the Universidad Estatal Amazónica UEA, a university of the Ecuatorian Amazonian region, suggests that a bias exists against the access of indigenous students, due to multiple factors. Results of an empirical study with recently admitted students of this university indicate that indigenous students have more difficulties in passing the admissions test known as the National Higher Education Exam ENES by its Spanish acronym of the Secretary of Higher Education SENESCYT, due to a less than perfect knowledge of the Spanish language which generally is not their mother tongue, not having access to specific test preparatory materials focused on the main areas of this test mainly language skills and mathematical-abstract skills, a lack of specific information technology skills necessary for this test, and an absence of a reliable IT infrastructure. In words of one student -many communities in the forest lack of material conditions and good level of education to have access to the University-. Anxiety in situations of examination did not have significant effect on the exclusion of indigenous students. Beyond the biases which can be shown empirically, it is necessary to elucidate some basic questions about the access of indigenous people to Higher Education: Is it more important that young indigenous people have better access to Higher Education in order to access higher positions in mainstream society even when in conflict with their ancestral values, or is it more important that Higher Education leads to increased autonomy and strengthened indigenous communities?

KEYWORDS

Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuatorian Amazon, Bias against Insertion in Higher Education, Factors of Infrastructure, Language, Quality of Secondary Education, Cultural Context, Admission Exam

Cite this paper

Gutiérrez, R. , López, E. , Llambí, L. , May, T. , Ramírez, A. and Tocancipá-Falla, J. 2015 Higher Education and Indigenous Nationalities: Challenges for Inclusion in the Ecuadorian Amazonian Region. Creative Education, 6, 847-854. doi: 10.4236-ce.2015.69087.





Author: Rosaura Gutiérrez1, Elisa López1, Luis Llambí2,3, Thomas May1, Alina Ramírez1, Jairo Tocancipá-Falla2

Source: http://www.scirp.org/



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