STEM education in Peru
For nine-year-old Benjamin, the door to a new world is just five minutes away. The Peruvian boy lives simply with his four siblings in a makeshift hut not far from the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. The new world waiting five minutes away is his school, with clean water, healthy food, and most importantly, a good education.
For children like Benjamin, education is the best chance for developing knowledge and skills, letting their personalities unfold, and shaping their own lives. Peru is a multicultural and diverse country, but rural regions and indigenous groups often lack access to good education. There are not enough adequate schools or well-trained teachers, and the quality of education is not suited for the demands of a globalized and digitalized world.
- Two-tier school system: Primary school (Educación primaria: 6 years), secondary school (Educación secundaria: 5 years)
- Education budget: 3.8 % of GDP (2016)
- WEF Ranking Maths and Science: 125 of 137 (2017-2018)
- PISA study 2015: 65 of 71
- Important issues: Implementing the national program on popularizing science, technology, and innovation
The importance of science and technology education in Peru is increasing. This is reflected in STEM education’s fixed position in Peru’s education policy agenda. STEM education should support individual prospects in an increasingly younger population and stimulate the country’s economic development through innovation. In pursuit of these goals, an education policy initiative was launched in 2016 called “Programa Especial de Popularización de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación” (“National program for popularizing science, technology, and innovation”). It is meant to increase the appeal of science, technology, and innovation and was developed with support from members of the Foro Nacional STEAM (National STEAM Forum).
Siemens Stiftung supports Peru’s education policy efforts in pursuit of real-world STEM education through collaboration with partners and by active committee work and networking efforts.
International educational program Experimento
Since 2013, we’ve supported high-quality teacher training and continuing education with our international education program Experimento. Locally, we work with Instituto APOYO and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, two renowned institutions that are innovatively engaged in education in Peru with their scholastic and extracurricular STEM programs “Cienca para todos-Experimento” (“Science for everyone – Experimento”) and “Diviértete y aprende” (“Have fun and learn”). Instituto APOYO adapted experiments for primary school in line with the national curriculum and has been conducting training seminars for educators since 2013 in the northern Piura region, Gran Lima, the Urubamba Valley, and in Ilo and Moquegua in southern Peru. The Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia provides training for prospective teachers as part of their university studies. The university also offers creative, extracurricular STEM workshops on various subjects for children and young people.
Foro Nacional STEAM
Foro Nacional STEAM seeks to improve STEAM education in Peru with increased collaboration. STEAM includes ‘a’ for ‘arts’ alongside the traditional STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. School is not the only place where innovation and creativity should enhance knowledge – the idea of “learning with all the senses” and utilizing inventiveness and imagination should apply all the time. The institutions taking part in the STEAM Forum represent the most important education organizations in Peru. The forum was created in 2016 by Instituto APOYO, Siemens Stiftung, and the School of Education at the Technical University of Munich, along with Peru’s largest universities: Pontificia Universidad Católica, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, UTEC, Instituto Pedagógico Monterrico and Universidad Cayetano Heredia. Since then, the STEAM Forum has grown into a well-established institution for innovative and qualitative STEM education.
STEAM Territorios (STEM regions)
STEAM Territorios bring together regional stakeholders from civic groups, science, business, and politics, bundling their efforts in support of regional STEAM education and long-lasting societal development.
There are currently two STEAM Territorios in Peru: the Miraflores district in the capital Lima, and the Tacna region in the southern part of the country. Both regions face different challenges and unique local circumstances, which are addressed contextually by the STEAM Territorios to find appropriate solutions for each region.
Red STEM Latinoamérica
Since 2011, Siemens Stiftung has supported teachers and educators in eight Latin American countries with the foundation’s international education program Experimento, aiming to increase understanding in STEM subjects for children and young people and to awaken their interest in scientific and technological interrelationships. The Spanish website Red STEM Latinoamérica provides a comprehensive overview about the project and supports networking activities by individual stakeholders.