Global Views

Future of Peru’s indigenous rests with receiving an education in two tongues

Future of Peru’s indigenous rests with receiving an education in two tongues

LatinaLista — It's not only nations of immigrants, like the United States, where language is an issue, but it's also an issue in those countries with strong indigenous communities whose native tongue may not be the official language of the country.

That's certainly the case in Peru where the indigenous population is over four million — one million comprised of children and adolescents. According to various UNICEF studies, more than 12 percent of school-age Peruvian children speak indigenous languages as their first language, with some regions reporting 62.82% of the children speaking a language other than Spanish as their primary language.

While maintaining the native language is seen these days as preferable in continuing ties to the native culture, it's also problematic for those who don't speak the language spoken by the majority.

For starters, in Peru, the indigenous whose first language is an Amazonian or Andean language have significantly less access to social services. In turn, more of the indigenous live in poverty.

In an article posted on Open Equal Free:

78% of indigenous children (between ages 3 and 17) live in poverty, compared to the 40% of the population whose first language is Spanish. Additionally, 32% of indigenous children ages 3 to 5 attend pre-school, as compared to the 55% of their non-indigenous peers, while only 11% of the indigenous population between ages 18 and 20 have access to higher education.

To combat this poverty and improve the educational outcomes for indigenous children, Peruvian officials are striving to offer indigenous children a bilingual education — Spanish and their native tongue. The only challenge, which isn't small, is that officials can't find qualified speakers of the indigenous languages who can also teach the children in Spanish.

Until officials can solve this dilemma, the potential for the next generation of Peru's indigenous will be lost and could redefine what a third-world country means in a globally connected, high-tech world of the 21st Century.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Global Views

More in Global Views


Peru’s beautiful and ancient Vilavilani cave paintings left unprotected

Latina ListaMarch 23, 2015

Want to find your ‘happy place’? Gallup poll says look in Latin America

Latina ListaMarch 19, 2015

Mexico launches nationwide whistleblower initiative with MéxicoLeaks

Latina ListaMarch 10, 2015

Peruvians want to throw trash TV off the airwaves

Latina ListaMarch 3, 2015

New threats challenge Mexico’s Teotihuacán’s chances of retaining splendor for next generation

Latina ListaFebruary 25, 2015

Infested coffee plants have Peruvian farmers growing more coca leaf

Marisa TreviñoFebruary 17, 2015

Uruguayan shoe company appeals to buyers to clean up environment and get a discount

Latina ListaFebruary 16, 2015

Indigenous community radio journalists in Guatemala seek global support to combat government abuse

Latina ListaFebruary 13, 2015

Is the Government Manipulating Kidnap Statistics in Mexico?

Latina ListaFebruary 9, 2015