Expats moving to Peru with children can rest assured that they'll receive decent education. Not only is Peru’s public school system considered to be among the best in Latin America, but there are also plenty of international schools in Peru to choose from – a popular choice with expats, due to the language barrier.
Public schools in Peru
Peru’s public schooling system generally offers a good level of education, though it is somewhat underfunded. Schooling in Peru is compulsory for children from age six to 16, with public schooling free for all Peruvians.
Public schools follow the local Peruvian curriculum, with instruction in Spanish. Some public schools in rural areas also have instruction in a local language such as Quechua.
The Peruvian education system is split into three levels: primary, secondary and technical/vocational education. Children in the primary and secondary levels follow a general curriculum. After completing primary and secondary schooling, children have the option of following an academic or technical route at the technical/vocational level. This is offered through technological institutions, most of which are private, but still overseen by the Ministry of Education.
The usual school week is from Monday to Friday, with the school day from around 8am to 2pm. The school year runs from March to December and is split into two semesters.
Private schools in Peru
There are several private schools in Peru, though fewer than public or international schools. These schools follow the Peruvian curriculum. While the main language of instruction is Spanish, many private schools in Peru offer instruction in both Spanish and English.
Private schools are not free and may charge high fees, though some low-fee private schools are available. Many schools are run through religious organisations, while others are cooperatively managed by a private board and financed by fees. Most private schools are located closer to big cities, such as Lima, so expats should carefully consider schools when deciding where to live.
International schools in Peru
Attending an international school is often a good choice for expats. The language barrier in local schools can be a big problem and the International Baccalaureate programme ensures children can continue schooling in other countries as well. International schools also have better funding than local institutions, offering children better educational resources.
There are a number of international schools in Peru. Most of these schools are based in Lima, but some can be found in Arequipa. International schools generally teach in Spanish and English, and either follow the Peruvian curriculum or IB. In some cases, curricula from other countries may also be taught.
International schools tend to be much more expensive than other schools and they can be rather exclusive, so expat parents should apply ahead of time.
Tertiary education in Mexico
Peru has a wide selection of private and public universities. The quality of education is reasonably high, with Spanish as the main language of tuition. Most institutions require three years of study and afford graduates certification as technical professionals. Private universities may have their own structure and expats should research the available programmes to ensure they are enrolled in a programme that corresponds with their needs.
The country also offers specialised technical higher institutes for agriculture and engineering, higher pedagogical institutes focusing on training teachers, and higher postgraduate centres that are comparable to university branch facilities.
Special-needs education in Peru
Most government schools in Peru do not have educational programmes for those with special needs. In rural areas especially, students with learning disabilities are often overlooked, since the teaching force here is already stretched rather thin in most cases. In grades one and two, remedial classrooms are available, but not afterwards.
In urban areas, several institutes with special programmes do exist where students get individualised attention and regular support. Several programmes also aim to recruit volunteers to help educate children with learning disabilities.
Private and international schools often have much better resources to help expat children with special needs.
Tutors in Peru
Private tutoring can help any expat child adapt to a new educational system or with a specific subject. The individual attention afforded by a tutor can be just what the child needs to integrate and succeed. Tutors can also be a good way for expat kids to bridge the language barrier, by teaching them Spanish.
Although tutor companies in Peru can be somewhat scarce, many online resources are available, such as Apprentus or TeacherOn. HiPerú is a reputable tutor service in Peru.
Are you an expat living in Peru?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Peru. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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