However, 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 nevertheless inconstant in quality, being even extremely poor in rural areas and not so good in urban areas, becoming one of the State's greatest challenges. The University of El Salvador (UES) is the largest (and only) public university in the country; however, classes are constantly stopped as being a host for protests. There is also a huge number of private universities as alternatives to UES though.
In 1992 the Minister of Education Cecilia Gallardo de Cano embarked on a reform program of basic education. By 2010, the literacy rate was 82% for both sexes.