A rural classroom in Peru
Teachers in Peru struck last week to demand improved spending for education
The teachers are demanding that 6% of Gross Domestic Product be spent on education to improve infrastructure for schools and teaching materials. Public schools in Peru are impoverished while there is a burgeoning private sector as the government continunes with neo-liberal reforms such as performance related pay, and the encouragement of private schooling.
The teachers union in Peru SUTEP - is in the forefront of the struggle to improve free, public and democratic education. For example in Loreto, a huge rural area including the Amazon region, many children do not get an education, the infrastructure is limited and teachers and children who are in school are working in very difficult conditions. Meanwhile the neo-liberal answer is to emphasise basic skills like numeracy and literacy - while ignoring the cultural, economic and social circumstances in which chldren live. SUTEP has instigated a long term alternative education project to develop a pedagogy using Vygotsky and Freire as a theoretical base. To read more about this project go to: http://idea-network.ca/featured/intercambio-alternative-pedagogies
As well as fighting for an alternative pedagogy, SUTEP is also fighting for decent salaries for teachers, improved teacher training and above all proper spending on public schooling.