The Directorate of the Intercultural Bilingual Education's budget, aimed at the recovery and preservation of 47 indigenous languages spoken in Peru, has increased by 30 times reaching a S/.100 million (about US$33 million) investment.
In Peru, the Native Languages Day is commemorated today. On this occasion, Peru has a good opportunity to celebrate by implementing an articulated policy and a 30-time budget increase compared to that of 2011.
The 152 report, issued by the Ombudsman’s Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) and published in July 2011, indicated over 60% of Peruvian children used to have a schoolteacher, who did not understand their pupils' native languages.
According to UNESCO, 47 indigenous languages are spoken by 4,045,713 inhabitants. In order to prevent them from disappearing, these should be practiced, it was suggested.
A representative of Peru’s Ministry of Education, Elena Burga, indicated assistance to indigenous children is related to the adequate training and hiring of teachers, student assessment, preparation of material, special scholarships granted to them and organizing training workshops for teachers.
All of these actions are part of the new intercultural policy implemented by the government.
This change started by the end of 2011 with the identification of schools that assist 1,084,000 children aged 3-17, according to Peru national and school census, she reminded.
"This has been a huge task. Now, we know there are 20,129 bilingual intercultural schools, 17,035 of which speak an indigenous language as a mother tongue. The other task was discovering the number of corresponding bilingual teachers. Those who speak an indigenous language, those who received training to become teachers, among others. We have registered and tested 48,000 teachers," stated Ms. Burga.
Nora Delgado, advisor to the organization in charge of establishing Intercultural bilingual education in the rural area, explained the indigenous teachers "needed to receive advice on the implementation of the new pedagogic proposal and the use of educational material."
Currently, 7,000 teachers belonging to the Intercultural Bilingual Education (EIB) system, receive pedagogical training or advice and some 1,322 are being trained to become advisors.
1,970 EIB teachers have specialized in this area. Some have conducted studies abroad. "It is something which has not been seen before."
"These measures allow addressing the right of every child to learn in their native tongue according to his/her culture. We work to protect our languages and prevent them from disappearing. 16 Peruvian languages are in danger of disappearing because these are no longer spoken. To counter that danger, we work with 3,074 schools on the linguistic revitalization process," said Burga.
“60,000 EIB teachers are required and we only have 48,000. Now, there are 4,300 young people being trained to become new EIB teachers at 30 pedagogical institutes and 9 universities. This way, and thanks to the EIB Beca 18 Scholarship created by government-run Pronabec, 957 students are being trained to become EIB teachers,” Delgado indicated.