Regional leader

Chilean school infrastructure among the best in Latin America

Along with Argentina and Uruguay, Chile has the best-equipped schools in the region, enabling students to achieve higher academic results.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 Category: Education
Chilean schools have more facilities like computer labs and libraries. (Photo: Extra Ketchup/Flickr) Chilean schools have more facilities like computer labs and libraries. (Photo: Extra Ketchup/Flickr)

Infrastructure levels in Chile's primary schools are among the best in Latin America, according to a study conducted by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Based on findings from 16 countries, the study looked at the prevalence of basic services, such as electric power and drinking water, along with educational facilities like computer labs, libraries and gymnasiums.

Together with Argentina and Uruguay, Chile outscored the rest of the region in all areas, achieving higher results than Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, which were located in the middle of the group.

According to the IDB study, Chile's primary schools have high levels of basic services, while nine in 10 contain computer labs and 85 percent have their own libraries, placing it above almost all countries in the region.

The report noted that half the nation's primary schools provide psychological services and almost two-fifths offer nursing care, services which are practically non-existent throughout the rest of Latin America.

Other areas where Chile led the region were the proportion of primary schools with science labs (30 percent) and music rooms (one in four).

The IDB study found a strong link between infrastructure standards and academic outcomes, noting that students from schools with better facilities achieved higher outcomes for reading and mathematics in a major comparative study conducted by UNESCO in 2006.

“It's important to pay attention to the buildings and physical resources in these schools to improve the quality of learning,” IDB education specialist Jesús Duarte told La Tercera.

The report also identified that facilities linked directly to education, such as libraries and science labs, have the biggest impact on educational results.

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