In technical schools, enrollment grows, but the number of female students does not increase

Enrollment in technical schools grew 20.0% in ten years: from 591,918 in 2011 to 710,081 in 2020 throughout the country. In the same period, the educational offer in this modality also increased: the number of technical schools increased 15.2% (from 1,454 to 1,675 institutions), while the number of sections (classrooms) grew 25.0% (from 24,101 to 30,134).

The data comes from the report “Technical Secondary School: enrollment grows with stable female participation”, by the Observatory of Argentines for Education, authored by Guillermina Laguzzi (OEI), Martín Nistal and Víctor Volman (Observatory of Argentines for Education). The document analyzes the evolution of the supply and enrollment of technical schools at the national and provincial levels, as well as the proportion of female students, based on data from the Annual Survey carried out by the National Ministry of Education.

The growth of enrollment in technical schools (20.0%) was greater than that of ordinary secondary schools (11.4%) between 2011 and 2020, but it occurred unevenly at the national level. The provinces where the proportion of students choosing this modality in secondary education grew the most were Santa Cruz (13.8 percentage points), La Rioja (8.2 pp) and Tierra del Fuego (6.5 pp).

At the other extreme are jurisdictions that lowered the proportion of students in technical schools. The three jurisdictions with the greatest decrease in this proportion were CABA, San Luis and Santiago del Estero.

Between 2011 and 2020, the supply of technical schools (measured in number of sections, that is, classrooms) grew in all jurisdictions except CABA. The provinces with the highest growth were Santa Cruz (114.9%), La Rioja (79.2%), Tierra del Fuego (75.6%).

“Although the entire educational system forms, (or should form) for the world of work, technical secondary school has a particularity and is the articulation between a comprehensive general education and a technical education that dialogues with the needs and socio-productive transformations. The articulation of theory and practice, as well as training in work environments, represent a plus compared to ordinary secondary school, highly valued by students, families and the labor market”, explains Guillermina Laguzzi, co-author of the report

The percentage of women in total enrollment in technical schools increased from 33.1% to 34.2% between 2011 and 2020. The figures show that gender parity is still far away (in all secondary schools, women represent 50.1% of enrollment).

Ludovico Grillo, Director of the Roberto Rocca de Campana Technical School, explains that “the current context distances the adolescent from the classical secondary school of expository classes and theoretical knowledge. Technical education gives the student practical and concrete experiences, especially in the workshops”.

The provinces with the highest proportion of women in technical schools are: San Luis (42.4%), La Rioja (42.3%) and Santiago del Estero (41.9%). On the contrary, those with the lowest proportion are Buenos Aires (29.4%), La Pampa (29.5%) and CABA (29.7%).

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