Peru has experienced solid economic growth in recent years (5.7% between 2010 and 2011) and employment indicators are more positive than they have been in decades. But the country still has marked social inequality, as evidenced by its Gini Index of 0.481 in 2010.
To achieve equitable development, the Peruvian government is focusing on education. On the last evaluation conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA - 2009), which tested a national sample of 15-year-old students, Peru ranked near the bottom of the list of 65 countries in math, reading comprehension and science.
In 2011, the study "Strengthening skills and employability in Peru” determined that in addition to professional training, individuals required other types of skills, including socio-cultural ones, which are highly valued by employers, to successfully enter the Peruvian labor market.
These skills are developed during the first days of life and during the basic education phase, in other words, during the 12 years of pre-school, primary and secondary school.
"What you learn at school is useful throughout life. Your skills and behavior as an adult are not only greatly influenced by reading, but also by the laughs, frustrations and achievements that you experience as a child,” says Gabriela Chumpitaz, director of the Pinoteca Project, which the World Bank awarded in 2009 for its learning activities created for children living in Cerro el Pino, a poor neighborhood in La Victoria District of Lima.
While enrolment in pre-school has increased since 2008 (from 73% to 78%), other associated factors, such as nutrition or access to health, can affect child development. However, access to quality basic education is a key factor for achieving Peru’s further development.