1 May 2016
The battle between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski for the second round in June highlights the need for close scrutiny of their policies in fields other than those that have tended to predominate: economic management, fighting insecurity and tackling corruption. Education is an issue that tends to be left aside in the public debates so far.
But both candidates have government plans with policies on education, as we heard in the Foro Elecciones 2016, La República’s excellent initiative in February in which education specialists from all parties presented their proposals. This event provides us with a starting point for summarising the proposls of Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular (FP) and Kucynski’s Peru por el Kambio (PPK).
FP’s education program comes in two sections. The first focuses on presenting statistical data about the current situation relating to coverage of basic education (primary and secondary). It also mentions the improved, but still poor, results scored by Peru in the PISA evaluations, especially in numeracy and literacy. The second section presents a set of proposals among which the need to improve vocational/technical education stands out, a plan to establish an institution to measure educational quality, and to adapt school curricula to local realities. At her presentation at Foro Educación 2016, María Isabel León (FP’s education program designer) also stressed the need for better government regulation of vocational/technical education.
PPK has put forward a number of reform proposals. These include the creation of an autonomous institution to design a national curriculum adapted to local realities; the development of a model for inclusion within mainstream education of persons with special needs and special abilities; the need to prioritise rural, intercultural and bilingual education; and the importance of reforming the teacher training curriculum as well as strengthening lifelong teacher training. In higher education, there is some overlap with FP’s proposals, namely the improvement of vocational/technical education and more scholarships and science innovation. Martín Vizcarra, PPK’s education programme designer and former regional president of Moquegua, laid out the agenda at Foro Elecciones 2016. Moquegua is the region that, during Vizcarra’s administration, attained Peru’s highest numeracy and literacy scores in standardised tests.
Of the two, PPK’s education programme seems better structured and more developed in the proposals it presents.