García proposes modifications to contentious education law

President Alan García and Education Minister José Antonio Chang announced Sunday changes to a contentious new education law that will prohibit public schools from hiring teachers who do not finish in the top third of their class while at University or an academic institute.

García and Chang said they will modify Supreme Decree 004 by allowing public schools to hire teachers who did not finish in the top third during their studies but who perform exceptionally while teaching, daily El Comercio reported. García said the additions will ensure that none of the best teachers are excluded from public teaching contracts or full time positions.

“Teachers who are not in the top third, but participated in the 2007 evaluation census and achieved sufficient levels in reading comprehension, mathematics, curriculum design and a specialty, will also be able to participate in competitions for contract positions,” added Chang.

The Education Ministry’s attempt to improve Peru’s public school system by only hiring “the best” teachers has been meet with stiff opposition from 17 regional presidents, who call the decree unconstitutional and discriminatory.

After some of the regional presidents said they would not implement the law, Chang responded by threatening to file criminal charges against them for fraud or embezzlement.

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