Lack of quality education in rural areas of Peru due to covid-19.

By Giomara Quispe


Rural community of Ccasacunca Anta- Cusco.


Due to COVID-19, on March 16th, 2020, President Martin Vizcarra declared the country in a State of Emergency; Since then, every Peruviain’s routine changed to the slogan "Stay at home." Inconveniently, this situation exposed the deficiencies that we had been dragging in the health sector and also in one of the essential pillars of the country's development, "Education. Due to the expansion of the state of emergency, the National Superintendency of Higher University Education (SUNEDU) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDU), through Resolution No. 039-2020-SUNEDU-CD, authorized colleges, universities, and other educational institutions to start their academic activities through remote mechanisms (SUNEDU, 2020) [1]. However, students from rural colleges and universities have faced difficulties using these mechanisms due to access to a signal or the internet (El País, 2020) [2]. The following table made by IPSOS PERÚ shows that 20.5% of Peru's population lives in rural areas, a figure that is worrying because the Peruvian Government must guarantee quality education, especially to those who live in vulnerable areas. (Ipsos Perú, 2020) [3].



Source: IPSOS PERÚ 2020


For school students, the Government has presented through Viceministerial Resolution No. 088-2020 the “I learn at home” program, which consists of half an hour of classes a day through an electronic device or means of communication (MINEDU, 2020) [4 ]. However, as mentioned in the newspaper article “Public education in crisis” by El Comercio, this program has many barriers for children living in rural areas. On the one hand, most of them do not have any electronic device; in some cases, they share a smartphone with the whole family, and in others, they are not even lucky enough to have a television or radio at home. For this reason, a great difficulty has been generated when taking their classes and even more so when teachers have to use mobile applications such as WhatsApp to send audios and thus help their students with the topics previously taught. On the other hand, this programming for primary school students offers the same content for two grades, which has raised concerns among parents because it has been questioned about the degree of precision and intellectual development that each child needs. However, despite the difficulties, communities and communal schools have organized and implemented measures to help children not miss the school year (El Comercio, 2020) [5].


Regarding university students, it is public institutions that generally house students living in rural areas, which also provide their students with the dining room and free internet within the university campus. Therefore, some students have had to stop studying or suspend their studies (Velazque, Valenzuela, Murillo, 2020) [6]. This situation affects the fulfillment of the fourth objective of sustainable development (ODS); quality education; as the United Nations established in 2015, accessing and completing a university degree means having the opportunity to improve their quality of life and get out of poverty (United Nations, 2015) [7]. As expressed by Ruth Mary Quispe Sencia, from the Pukllasunchis Pedagogical Higher Education School in Cusco (Peru), not having the means to continue with their education is a great challenge. “(...) The only thing that makes it difficult for me is the internet, because the truth is that the internet is very low in my population, and also sometimes it is cut off, and I cannot enter my classes (…)” (translation into English).


From another point, on April 18th, 2020, the Government of Peru announced the purchase of almost a million tablets, 203.000 solar batteries, and more than half a million mobile devices with data plans aimed at students in rural areas. However, According to the Ministry of Education's statement on July 29th, it was frustrated due to various irregularities (El Comercio, 2020) [8]. Since then, the public administration has preferred to contract directly with manufacturers. Also, regional administrations have placed antennas so that students living in rural areas can pick up the radio signal. However, despite the efforts being made, around 9.911 million students in Peru, according to the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO, 2020) [9], have already been affected by not receiving the necessary help in time.


Quality education presents many challenges, especially for young people and children living in rural areas; therefore, the government's investment in educational and technological materials is essential to overcome these challenges. These new tools that are being implemented due to the arrival of COVID-19 and that allow us to have distance education is a feasible alternative to solve access to education in rural communities. The pandemic will mark a before and after in our country; we have to identify the errors that we had in the past and those that the coronavirus intensified to work on them.


REFERENCES:

[1] Superintendencia Nacional de Educación Superior Universitaria. (2020, 27 marzo). RESOLUCIÓN DEL CONSEJO DIRECTIVO N° 039-2020-SUNEDU-CD. El Peruano. https://busquedas.elperuano.pe/download/url/aprueban-los-criterios-para-la-supervision-de-la-adaptacion-resolucion-n-039-2020-sunedu-cd-1865206-1.

[2] JACQUELINE FOWKS. (2020). La educación perdida de las regiones rurales de Perú. 30 Septiembre 2020, de El Pais Internacional Sitio web: https://elpais.com/internacional/2020-08-01/la-educacion-perdida-de-las-regiones-rurales-de-peru.html

[3] E.P. (2020a). Distribución de Habitantes según Área de residencia 2020. Marketing Data - IPSOS Sitio web: https://marketingdata.ipsos.pe/login

[4] M. .d.e. .E. (2020, 2 abril). Resolución Viceministerial No. 088-2020. MINEDU. https://cdn.www.gob.pe/uploads/document/file/574993/RVM_N__088-2020-MINEDU.pdf.

[5] Loyola, D. (2020). Educación Pública en Crisis. El comercio Sitio web: https://especiales.elcomercio.pe/?q=especiales/educación-pública-en-crisis-ecpm/index.html.

[6] Valenzuela Huamán:, C. J., & Murillo Salazar, F. (2020). Pandemia COVID-19: Repercusiones en la educación universitaria. ODONTOLOGÍA SANMARQUINA, 203-205:https://revistasinvestigacion.unmsm.edu.pe/index.php/odont/article/view/17766.

[7] La Asamblea General adopta la Agenda 2030 para el. (2015, 25 septiembre). Desarrollo Sostenible.https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/es/2015/09/la-asamblea-general-adopta-la-agenda-2030-para-el-desarrollo-sostenible/.


[8] Mendieta, R. A. (2020, 29 julio). Minedu cancela adquisición de más de un millón de tabletas. El Comercio Perú. https://elcomercio.pe/peru/minedu-cancela-adquisicion-de-mas-de-un-millon-de-tabletas-pandemia-tablets-brecha-digital-noticia/?ref=ecr.

[9] Roca Limache, C., & Ortiz, L. (s. f.). Impacto del COVID-19 en los problemas sociales en contextos Urbanos y Rurales del Perú. Centrum Think PUCP. Recuperado 30 de septiembre de 2020, de https://centrumthink.pucp.edu.pe/impacto-del-covid-19-en-los-problemas-sociales-en-contextos-urbanos-y-rurales-del-peru.