Public education in Ecuador is underfunded. Teachers are poorly-trained and badly paid. It’s not just about money – unions are resistant to change and desperate to protect the job for life concept. If you’re intending to live in a rural area you should plan your time and resources to be able to do some supplementary home schooling.
If you live in one of the major cities and you’re prepared to pay there are some excellent schools and universities. They don’t follow a national curriculum or examinations regime. That and the business imperative means academic standards are not always as high as they should be. There is also an element of corrupt teachers and professors. However my impression in Guayaquil is that there are far less problems with weapons and drugs than in the UK.
Many good schools are focussed on giving students the opportunity to study abroad and to this end offer international examinations. The international baccalaureate is growing in popularity.
Universities clearly don’t rate the schools that highly because they make students take a preparation course and sometimes an entry exam. Courses and institutions vary in quality but the fees are usually cheaper than neighbouring countries and obviously North America. On the flip side they’ll charge you for everything including graduating. The government body SENESCYT publishes ratings of universities.