Once again I am asking for prayers for the Diospi Suyana School. It can make such a big difference here in Curahuasi, and maybe even in Peru. The results of an international evaluation of education placed Peru in 65th place out of 65 countries in all three areas of math, science, and literacy. We have experienced this lack of quality as we put our kids in the Peruvian schools. We tried two schools and then eventually quit both of them. We were not super concerned about how much they learned (although in general this is very important to us); we wanted them to learn Spanish. However in the first school the teachers hit the kids with rulers or small whips if they did not perform well or work fast enough. In the second school we had a rule that if the teacher did not show up 1 1/2 hours after school was supposed to begin, then the kids could walk home. Yes our kids learned a lot of Spanish, and even some Quechua, but they learned little else. We finally decided it was a waste of their time, and it was not worth the battle of tears we had from several of them each day to continue with this seemingly fruitless exercise. As an example of education here, the expectation in our town is that kids will read by the age of 9-10. Thats not a very high expectation, I think you will agree. As we read the following article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website, it reminded us of how David has told us that he does not think his classmates have any idea what a “chapter book” is. That is both a consequence of funding as well as low expectations. Low expectations are a trap in thinking, because after a while you quit recognizing them as low expectations, and you think that they are normal expectations. I think that this is what has happened in our community. I pray that our school will shake things up a little bit.
Every three years, the results of the PISA study global come out. 15-year-old students are tested in the areas of math, literacy and science knowledge and understanding. The current study included 65 countries, which account for approximately 80% of the world’s population. In all three areas of Peru was in last place. These results make clear the extent to which Diospi – Suyana School for many children could be a blessing. The pedagogy in Peru is obviously not capable of withstanding an international comparison. Blunt memorization might form “Yes” persons, but not independently thinking individuals. We wish Christian Bigalke, the future director of the Colegio Diospi Suyana, much success with his educational concept.