14:49 | Lima, Sep. 12 (ANDINA).
The Peruvian government has taken a "historical step" by increasing investment in the public education sector with a view to building a developed nation that depends less on raw materials, President Ollanta Humala Tasso said on Thursday.
"The government's decision to make the country less reliant on its exports and raw materials and, instead, to use the intelligence and innovative capabilities of our citizens should be seen as a national objective," Humala said during the launch of an ambitious project aimed at improving the quality of education in local universities and technical institutes.
The PEN148 million (US$ 53.2 million) Public Investment Project for Higher Education Quality Improvement is being funded by the government of Peru and the World Bank.
This initiative will help dozens of Peruvian higher education institutions manage their accreditation process and access information relevant to the continuous quality improvement.
"We need to understand that the [labor] market needs quality, not quantity. It needs professionals who know a lot of something specific, and not a little of everything," said the president, who recalled that public spending on social services such as education and health care has increased in recent years.
As a result, he noted that early education coverage has been expanded to more than 2,000 rural communities that for the first time have access to this service, while the government's school feeding program called Qali Warma is already providing breakfast and lunch meals to 2.5 million children in public schools across the country.