This brief (in Spanish) presents recent analysis from Young Lives of the
links between children’s socio-economic status (household poverty level,
parental education, ethnicity and gender) and levels of learning and
achievement at school. Historically, inequality in education has been
linked to access to school, but with recent improvements in enrolment,
this trend is shifting rapidly towards inequality in learning.
The test results achieved by school children in Peru in several
different surveys show a combination of low scores (although these are
improving) and high inequality among different groups of children.
Results both in national tests (such as the Census Evaluation of
Students) and international tests (e.g. the Latin American Laboratory
for Assessment of the Quality of Education at elementary level and the
Programme for International Student Assessment for students aged 15)
have shown significant improvements in recent years, although most
students are not achieving the levels of learning expected within the
national curriculum (and are particularly worrying in mathematics).
However, when we analyse gaps between groups, we find that the
differences between boys and girls are small (with boys doing better in
maths and girls in reading) compared to other forms of grouping. The gap
between private and public schools has decreased in recent years,
possibly because of the increasing number of private schools of low
quality, but the gap between urban and rural has remained at similar
levels or even increased, as well as the gap between complete and
multi-grade schools (schools where students from different grades attend
the same classroom).
While education should be an instrument for quality and equality,
longitudinal data from Young Lives suggests that Peru’s education system
seems to be reinforcing rather than decreasing socio-economic
inequalities. The distribution of investment and resources in schools
should compensate for differences between groups of students, but the
schools attended by children from better-off households, in urban areas,
or whose mother is from a Spanish-speaking background receive more or
better resources. Public urban and private schools are more likely to
have libraries, rooms for workshops and laboratories for science than
rural schools (attended by more poorer students), and similar results
were found for basic services. Young Lives and other studies have shown
that poorer students attend schools with lower-quality teaching and
teachers often had poorer content knowledge (maths), and were less
likely to give adequate feedback to their students.
The brief gives an assessment of positive trends in recent education
policy and makes some concrete recommendations for improvements that
could be made.
Cueto, S.; Leon, J.; Miranda, A. Socio-economic Status and Learning Levels of Children in Peru. Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE), Lima, Peru (2015) 4 pp. [In Spanish]
Socio-economic Status and Learning Levels of Children in Peru