Humala Plans To Increase Teacher Salaries

Peru’s government plans to send to Congress a bill to increase the salaries of teachers in the Andean nation, President Ollanta Humala said.

Humala said during a speech to Congress on Saturday, which marked his first year in office and was Peru’s Independence Day, that improving the quality of education is key to his government’s agenda.

Humala said the creation of “dignified jobs and productivity will only be possible if we significantly improve the education in our country, particularly for the most vulnerable.”

While Peru has high school enrollment, the quality of its educational system is seen as one of the world’s worst.

The World Economic Forum reported in its Global Competitiveness 2011-2012 report that primary education enrollment was 94 percent, which ranked 56 of 142 countries around the world. However, the quality of primary education came in at 135 of 142 countries, according to the WEF.

In secondary education, enrollment was 89 percent, which ranked 65th globally, while the quality of the education system was 128th and the quality of math and science education was 135th.

The President said that to improve Peru’s education system, teachers need to be promoted based on meritocracy. And in order to attract these professionals, teachers’ salaries should be increased, Humala said.

“Nevertheless, we will demand from teachers a greater commitment to our children and the goals that our country has planted in education,” he said.

“Better conditions mean greater responsibilities,” Humala said. “And we are sure that the true teachers, those who were called to the profession, will assume this challenge to change the education.”

Humala pointed to three conditions to improve the quality of education in Peru. These include increasing the number of evaluations for students, increasing the number of schools, and improving management in the Ministry of Education.

“In the past year we have focused on three fundamental priorities: Improving the learning of all students, relaunching the work with teacher training, and modernizing the management so that these changes are sustainable,” Humala said.

The public education system, once the source for some of the country’s leading politicians, scientists and academics, began to lag behind in the early1960s. During the past three administrations, President Fujimori is remembered for building a number of schools throughout the country, President Toledo began the introduction of computers and laptops, and President Garcia refurbished “emblematic” schools, namely in the city of Lima, and created a special high school in Lima for outstanding students from the provinces. 

However, little was achieved in modernizing education methods, and learning by rote continues to be widely practiced.  Additionally, corruption among entrenched bureaucrats within the Ministry of Education and the more die-hard factions of the teachers’ union, Sutep,  blocked attempts of teacher re-assessment and re-training.

The Minister of Education, Patricia Salas, sais Monday that the Teacher Development Act should begin to be implemented in 60 days,  when the first wage raises will be applied. The Act sets out clear guidelines, Salas said, for assessment and further wage increases.

One Comment

  1. What is the average teacher’s salary now?

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