With regard to the results of the PAES (university admission) and the chaotic admission process for the different establishments throughout the country, we must focus on this reality from the perspective of the right to education, foreseeing a chronic neglect in the education of our children and adolescents.

During the last 50 years, the dictatorship and subsequent governments have governed, deepening a progressive deterioration of public education, with insufficient injection of resources, both for infrastructure and for tools and decent conditions for the educational community, which has triggered an exodus to private and subsidised education (the latter is a business of the political class); such emptying, has led to the closure of more than 800 establishments in the last 20 years alone, while 2. 942 private subsidised schools were set up between 1992 and 2012, deepening the mercantile model that today governs our country.

Those who are affected are the most impoverished sectors, who, not having the resources to opt for a school with better conditions, must settle for a precarious school as a consolation prize, and accepting the mercantilist logic, in which depending on what you have in your pocket, will also define what your education will be like. And in fact, to assume that this is the supposedly inalienable right to education in Chile.

The projects of the right wing, to promote education centres that establish entry filters, which allow having the best students together, excluding those who are in situations of need for various basic reasons, clearly expresses the mental line of this elite. Congressman Marcos Ilabaca was emphatic at the time: “When you establish education of excellence for children of excellence you are not having any merit, it is different when you have children of all performance levels and you take them all together to excellence, that is the merit. That’s why the focus needs to be on improving the quality of education for all equally.”

Of the 100 schools with the highest PAES scores nationally, 96 are private schools, three are municipal and one is subsidised. Overall, public schools scored on average 171 points higher than municipal schools in this first edition of the PAES, while the gap between men and women in the specific maths test grew from 0.23 to 0.32, a distance that was described as “small” by the Ministry of Education.

Concerning figures such as those emanating from the latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) test, which show that only 50% of children understand what they read, adding that 60% of boys and girls leave primary school without knowing how to read.

It is no coincidence that from within the admissions process (SAE), it is thought that meritocracy and inequality inevitably need to be displaced, in order to achieve a fairer process of incorporation of students into the different educational institutions.
However, the current monopolisation of enrolments in private subsidised education, despite its poor results, to the detriment of public schools, which, with their low rates of students interested in them, reinforces in practice a progressive abandonment and stigmatisation (including the emblematic schools, which trained the country’s political elite since independence); which has finally triggered the closure of hundreds of public schools over the last few years.

The usual postcard of the last few years is to see mothers, fathers and guardians camping outside the subsidised schools they prioritise in order to enrol their children in them. We must interpret such events as the reverie induced by joining a school that has results based on numbers and standardised tests, indicators that are questionable as relevant educational indices at a global level.
On the other hand, the famous raffle is nothing more than a filter after the formal enrolment process for those who are not “problem” students, leaving students in these situations in establishments often far from their homes. According to figures from the Superintendence of Education, in the last 12 months, schools have expelled 745 students, including immediate expulsions and cancellations of enrolment, which occur at the end of the school year. In other words, on average, schools have removed six students per week from their classrooms.
We understand education as the most important and traditional source of socialisation of people because it contributes to the formation of their ideology, culture, morals, life and work orientations.

We usually speak of education in at least two different senses: one refers to the transmission of data and knowledge from the educator to the learner and in another sense education is conceived as a preparation of the learner to the world in which he/she lives. This “world” refers both to things physically considered and to intangibles such as values and human relationships.
In this sense, education aims to enable different ways of understanding, points of view, perspectives in order to understand both the realities of material and cultural objects, as well as those of its interiority. However, formal education, its contents, teaching methods, lines of research that are promoted, reflect the role played by those who exercise power today, education as a means to preserve the established socio-cultural system or to introduce transformations according to the paradigm that exercises the current power.
The problem of education is undoubtedly one of the most pressing in today’s world, since generally everywhere the established power is an accessory to Big Capital, or to the corporate interests of those who have appropriated control of the State, and seek, through education, to preserve the educational structures that sustain the structures of oppression in force. Education, today more than ever, means acquiring values and skills to function in the world with coherence and solidarity, and it is fundamentally to enable new generations to take a non-naïve look at reality, in order to be able to transform and increasingly humanise the future threatened by the crisis provoked by the powerful of today.
Education in Chile is in the same critical line that is observed worldwide. For billions of people today, it is very difficult to think about education when their children are barely surviving. According to UNESCO, education has been directly attacked during the last decade. In 2018, before the pandemic, UNESCO estimated that 258 million (one in six school-age children) were not attending school. Globally, there are at least 771 million young people and adults who cannot read and write, two-thirds of whom are women, as well as 250 million children who are not acquiring basic literacy skills. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the worst disruption to education in a century, 617 million children and adolescents had not reached minimum literacy levels.
adolescents had not reached minimum levels of reading literacy. Forty-seven per cent of indigenous people working outside their communities have no formal education, compared to 17 per cent who are not, and the gap widens if the situation of women is compared.
The results are alarming when teachers and professionals linked to public education have to juggle with the meagre resources provided to survive as a school, often having to carry out activities for profit or internal sales for educational work.
As citizens, we observe this crisis and advocate for improvement, enshrining education as a fundamental right, in which the state really takes charge and participates in the promotion and improvement of comprehensive education.

Collaborative writing by Rubén Marcos Velásquez; Sandra Arriola Oporto; Jorge Ortiz Guerra; M. Angélica Alvear Montecinos; Guillermo Garcés Parada and César Anguita Sanhueza.
Political Opinion Commission