With a few days left in Peru before I head over to China I thought I’d bring a nagging issue to light just right around the corner from me.
Every month there’s a new strike with a fresh demonstrators outside the Ministry of Education’s building. No media is ever present, only the protestors crowded outside the building, blocked by large iron bars. If that wasn’t enough to protect the workers inside then you’d be pleased to know that riot police are constantly outside the building as well.
But it’s not the current issue that deserves attention as much as it is the frequency of the demonstrations. Clearly, something isn’t working inside the ministry of education. Men with suits and ties enter and exit the building in what seems very reminiscent of Wallstreet back in the States. Women walk in and out telling jokes to each other, almost oblivious to the groups gathered outside their door. What deserves attention is the pattern of complaints vocalized by the common folk.
Every protests seems to bring a new wave of complaints, but there are some common lessons to takeaway from all these issues.
- Every protest comes from outside the capital.
- Schools are heavily underfunded
- The Ministry of Education isn’t transparent in its finances
Much of Peru’s wealth is centralized, meaning that very little development and funding ever happens outside of Lima.
However there is hope. In a study conducted by the World Economic Forum, Peru ranked 95th out of 148 when it comes to Health and Primary Education. That’s significantly better than in 2007, when the Forum ranked it last out of 131 countries surveyed that same year.
As for the voice of complaints and frustrations outside the Ministry of Education, it’s certain those voices will not cease until more is done. A start could be removing the iron bars.