The national educational system is not the only one available. Pre-university education is not free. The State provides "public education for which a fee is paid if the person paying can afford it and only one payment per family is made (i.e. siblings pay only one fee). Public education is inconsistent in quality, being extremely poor in rural areas and dubiously efficient in urban areas, becoming one of the State's greatest challenges.
In 1992 the Minister of Education Cecilia Gallardo de Cano embarked on a reform program of basic education. In 2010 the literacy rate was 82% for both sexes.
The "University of El Salvador (UES) is the largest (and only) public university in the country. However, classes are constantly stopped for protests. The University of El Salvador has one main campus in San Salvador and three more campuses in Santa Ana, San Miguel and San Vicente.
There are also "many private universities as alternatives to UES.
In Dec. 2014, the government of El Salvador entered into partnership with the United States Agency for International Development, in hopes of improving institutions of higher learning within the country with updated curricula and faculty training.