Teachers strike continues – avoid Cusco

Teachers have been on strike in Cusco for over a month. There have been near daily protest marches, road blocks and difficulty getting to or from the airport. Recently parts of the railroad to Machu Picchu and an airport wall have been damaged by striking teachers. In the past few days the tourism industry workers have been protesting against the disruptions caused by the teachers, ostensibly supporting the “peaceful” protests but I’m sure if you asked most tourism workers what they really think about the striking teachers you’d get quite an earful.

Nobody, not the teachers union, not the regional government (who, as I understand, are responsible for the teacher’s salaries) not the national government seems to give a rat’s behind about only ones who are really done wrong here: the kids who haven’t gotten classes in over a month.

I’m done with the “everything is wonderful in Cusco” thingy because it’s not, leadership in Cusco is an embarrassment.

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2 thoughts on “Teachers strike continues – avoid Cusco

    • Yes and no. Education in Peru is terrible and before you can start thinking about solutions there has to be a commitment to invest resources. Anything from teacher’s pay to infrastructure, class sizes, qualifications of teachers, it’s all going to cost something. As I see it there’s no desire from any sides to make those investments, not the teachers, not the parents, not the government. The sad truth is people prefer a new Samsung or a new Kia over education.

      Public opinion is now firmly against the teachers here, everybody feels like the end doesn’t justify the means. The strike is a bit of a nuisance for me, it ruined your holiday like it did for many others but all that pales in comparison to what it does for the kids who haven’t had school in well over a month. It’s now likely kids are going to loose an entire year, so the kids who were slated to graduate this December and go on to university next March are now not likely to graduate on time and are looking at starting university in 2019. Also, there’s something to be said about the teachers’ salary demands being out of line with reality in Peru and the public opinion is that no matter the salary, there’s a significant portion of teachers who will never agree to elevating standards in public education (including testing and training for teachers). There’s a bit of a going joke here that when it’s time for students to take a test, they study, when it’s time for teachers to take some training, they strike.

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