USAID's Education Fund In El Salvador
By Vasti Carrion
                                                                       June 1st, 2022

  San Salvador, El Salvador---- The ingredients to create a strong soup of an economy within a country are: quality higher education, vibrant private sector and supportive government policy.  The United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) answers the necessary needs of the people in El Salvador in the following manner and with this fact: El Salvador has the lowest level of public investment in higher education in all of Central America.

        The gaps of El Salvador that could use strengthening are: the formation of programs at universities to target the needs of the people in El Salvador, there is a lack of knowledge of what is needed by professors.  This country mismatches the job skill-set- to-job requirements; therefore, ending up with overqualified or under-qualified workers for a specific job which mis-invests the education obtained for a high-skill required job.

          According to RTI International (Research Triangle Institute International) website, the five-year plan of $22 million USAID Higher Education for Economic Growth project seeks to implement an improvement of economic development in El Salvador by strengthening the higher education sector and creating alliances between universities, the private sector and government institutions to develop demand-driven educational programs and research.

           The result of this USAID project propelled World Learning Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to further global development and exchange nonprofit World Learning by providing English learning classes by creating programs called English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in Salvadoran universities. These universities benefited in an already more educated population by paving the path to accessing research in English, now Salvadorans can know what they need to improve their economy and their standard of living.

           More of USAID funds placed to use can be seen through World Learning Inc.'s website by establishing a five career development centers (CDCs) at the anchor universities—Universidad Francisco Gavidia, Universidad Don Bosco, Universidad de Oriente, Universidad Centroamericana, Universidad Catolica de El Salvador which has offer programs catered for Salvadorans to improve their resume.

         The development of El Salvador’s National Policy on Higher Education was created through USAID funds which seeks to raise awareness of the importance in higher education and presents it as a variable in career development. The big question here is career development and the answer here is economic growth through technological training, knowledge generating and critical thinking. To narrow things down to a minuscule level with an impact, the funds created the Network of Female Leaders in Higher Education which includes career advancement, STEM opportunities and technological training in a patriarchal society of El Salvador.  

          With these programs, the project has already improved the quality of human and institutional capacity in El Salvador’s investments, promotes innovation and technological development in priority industrial sectors, establishing career development centers and linking curriculum to real world applications. Thus supporting economic growth and summoning aid to global poverty.



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