Peru Teachers Protest Competency Testing
Photo's courtesy of Michael Edison
July 7, 2007
February test results showed almost half of public school teachers cannot solve basic math problems and one-third are deficient in reading comprehension.
Congress began debating a bill Thursday that would fire teachers who fail the test three times, a move the teachers' union, Sutep, says will lead to "arbitrary" firings.
Protesting teachers surrounded the regional education building in the central Junin department, and threw stones, burned tires and blocked roads, state news agency Andina reported.
Education Minister Jose Antonio Chang called the effort a failure, saying only 15 percent of Peru's approximately 350,000 teachers failed to show up for work.
The government has declared the strike illegal.
President Alan Garcia has promised to revamp the country's ailing public education system, widely looked down upon for its poor infrastructure and untrained staff.
The teachers' union has already launched large demonstrations and strikes to protest obligatory competency tests.
"I don't think there is anyone in Peru who does not want a good teacher for his children, a well-paid teacher with permanent training," Chang said in a statement on Thursday. - Associated Press
July 10, 2007
- Eyewitness, on-the-ground in Lima, Michael Edison
July 11, 2007
We successfully penetrated the first lines of defence and were able to secure ourselves in the heart of the protest.
Below I have submitted photos as evidence:
That's the way it looks from here.
- Eyewitness, on-the-ground in Lima, Peru, Michael Edison and Ron Jerabek Wallace