12:33. Arequipa (Arequipa region), Sep. 22.
Education Minister Jaime Saavedra said his sector has invested more than S/.9.5 billion (US$2.97 billion) in educational infrastructure in the past three years and over S/.3 billion (US$938 million) will be earmarked for 2016, which will result in a cumulative amount of more than S/.12.5 billion (US$3.91 billion).
During his opening speech at Perumin 32nd Mining Convention, currently held in city of Arequipa, Saavedra said this government will be remembered for its huge fiscal stimulus, particularly in infrastructure.
Nevertheless, he pointed out, this rate of progress (US$938 million) is still slow taking into account the infrastructure sector gap is S/.60 billion (US$18.7 billion).
“Educational infrastructure is one of the main challenges we should continue to address. More than S/.3 billion (US$938 million) have been invested this year, but this level should be speeded up keeping in mind the S/.60 billion (US$18.7 billion) gap.
Peru’s public spending on education has increased; however, it is still one of the lowest rates in America.
“Little investment has a direct impact in learning. For instance, I must say we have to spend more than S/.2 billion (US$625 million) only in school maintenance,” he explained.
The government official assures that closing the 'infrastructure gap' entails more than increasing public investment rates, participation of the private sector – especially of mining companies – is also required to reach this goal.
Moreover, the Minister emphasized his sector has been working diligently to further promote meritocracy among teachers across the country.