While I have been in Peru, I have taught English at an elementary school. So I have experienced the education of Peru at the university level, and at the elementary school level. I would say the main difference I saw at an elementary school level is the organization. The classes had one rule. Recess is at 11:15. Aside from that there was no strict schedule. I could go to any classroom at any time to teach English. The quality of the education at the elementary school level seemed about equal to that in the states. They seemed to be learning the same things that children in the USA would be. I know historically children couldn’t speak their native language of Quechua in the classroom, and today they are allowed to and some schools even teach it.
As far as my my university, the classes were definitely less work than they would be in the USA. In some of my classes I did still learn a lot, but the work load was substantially lighter. The school I was in was only for students who were studying abroad, and they did mention that the work load would be lighter because they wanted us to have the opportunity to travel on the weekends, so I cannot compare an ordinary Peruvian university to ones back in the States. From the way people talk it still would be easier than most places in the United States. One great part of our classes was that, being in the very center of Cuzco, we were able to take field trips just a block away or two blocks and see some of the most important sites in the Incan empire! The history of the place was definitely a change from De Pere, WI.
Jack Hayford is studying abroad in Cusco, Peru, with ProWorld.