Public university in Peru is tuition free (although there are small matriculation fees each semester) and in place of an application process, entrance to both public and private universities as well as technical institutes is dependent upon entrance exams. These exams, especially for public university due to its affordability for all socio-economic demographics, are increasingly competitive; to such an extent that almost all prospective tertiary education students attend a pre-university academy, created specifically to prepare for the entrance exams.
In addition, despite low or no tuition costs, higher level learning is still often economically out of reach for students from rural areas with high poverty indexes due to the cost of school supplies and moving to and living in urban areas. The Peruvian government has created a scholarship program called Beca 18 in order to counteract the cost of higher education for students from regions of extreme poverty. Beca 18, however, also uses exams to select recipients, and therefore many students miss out on full scholarships to high-quality universities for lack of preparation for exam-taking techniques.
The Huaninpampa Academy project helps indigenous students from rural communities overcome some of the many boundaries to higher education that they face by providing pre-university academy courses in mathematical reasoning and linguistic comprehension to prepare them for university entrance and scholarship placement exams. Students are encouraged to analyze content and implement test taking strategies to maximize their test performance. In addition, we hold regular vocational talks to ensure that students and parents are informed of the different majors available and scholarships offered.
Alma has hired specialized teachers from Cusco and developed academy material, while the school and Parents’ Association is providing classrooms, room and board for our teachers, and extra school lunches for the weekend classes. 109 secondary school students receive 13 hours of pre-university instruction every weekend from April through December.
- Teachers (2)
- Academic materials
- Project coordination
- Budget: U$10,000
- Provision of classroom
- Teacher housing
- Student lunches
- Hiring and payment of lunch cook,
- School supplies
- Meeting attendance
Indicators of success:
- Student Attendance
- Number of students writing entrance exams
- Number of students successfully completing exams
- Becas given
- Number of students attending post secondary school education
- Academics – computer skills, mathematical reasoning, communications
- Creativity – divergent thinking, originality
- Critical thinking – analysis, evaluation, justification of opinions
- Values and resilience
- Hours invested per child
- Parental engagement – attendance, contreparte, home strategy, capacity
- Ancillary benefits