Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com
A few pictures
giving some insight into
Peruvian "education" and the Peruvian value system
More pictures including the men who hit students with sticks
Kindergarten Candelight Marketing March
Unveristy Entrance Exam for Psychology Majors
Peru, Singapore, Education, Efficiency, Brainwashing etc.
I have been in Peru over a year now. I've visited a lot of schools and talked to a lot of students, parents and teachers. I've learned a lot about what they call the educational system here. I want to tell people around the world about what they do here so people can see what does not work. I have been to a lot of countries and Peru is one of the worst in nearly all areas.
Basically the system, like the country, is based on fear. It is based on the fear of being hit, humiliated or punished in other ways and on the fear of not getting a degree or "titulo" and thus not getting a job and thus starving to death. It is about as far as you can possibly get from teaching young people to love learning or to developing a child's natural curiosity and desire to learn, as was Maria Montessori's concept.
If anyone wants to see what does not work, come to Peru. Then try to do the opposite. Try to give students freedom and try to earn their respect instead of demanding obedience, for example. Try to believe in young people instead assuming they are all lazy and badly behaved. Try to teach with love and respect instead of fear and punishement. Try to treat students as individuals instead of as a herd of sheep or cows... or prisoners.
Please also visit this link which has pictures of the student police in Peru. And here are some pictures of one of their Sunday parades.
For more about Peru, see my Peru summary page
November 25, 2005
Here is a little girl, in her mandatory school uniform, sleeping in the back of school van. It is about 6:30 in the morning. Nature wants her to sleep, but her parents and the teachers want her to be at school. To be fair, I have to say that it is not only in Peru that parents force children, and teenagers, to wake up and go to buildings called schools. In many countries, in fact, during the winter months it is still dark out when they arrive.
This boy is being trained to be a little school police officer. You can tell by the cord on his shoulder. You can see more about the student police on this page.
Here is a very good example of the true priorities in a the Peruvian school system. The sign obviously says "Discipline and Responsibility". There isn't even an attempt to pretend that learning is important. When I saw it I thought to myself, "Why don't they just say "Obedience and Conformity?" A "colegio" is a high school, by the way. This was in a place called Jain.
Like most countries, Peru makes a very big deal about education being important. This is a sign announcing the construction of a new school. It says "Education is First". If education is first, it is frightening what is second and third. And although they may be constructing a new building, something tells me they will teach in the same out-dated ways.
This is is a private secretarial school in Trujillo. Trujillo is supposedly one of the better places to live in Peru. This school is one block from the main square in downtown. I thought it was a museum at first, but later I saw students actually practicing on these old-fashioned typewriters. This is in the year 2005, by the way. I did not travel back in time, as far as I know at least.
I have sometimes written that I consider schools in many countries as being very much like prisons. Here we have visual evidence of this. This first window looks like it could very well be a window to a prison.Yet is is a window to a school classrom. Then I approached the main door.
And I took these pictures....
If these boys do not look like they are in prison, I don't know what does.
Now you might think they are locked up like this because they are living in a big city, in the middle of a very dangerous neighborhood. Or you might think this is some kind of a special school for juvenile delinquents. But this is actually just the regular public school in a tiny remote village where there is hardly any danger at all, except perhaps the danger that these young minds are being filled with garbage about how they should be proud to be from Peru, or the danger that their minds are basically being left to rot.
Below is a picture of the school, showing the mountains in the background and a bit of the park in the foreground. This was in a village called Pomahuaca.
I took this next pic in the same place. This building also looks a bit like a prison to me. It is where they teach university classes. The writing to the left of the door says there will be an admission exam on the third of April. They just paint it right on the wall. This "Nacional University of Pedro Ruiz Gallo" is supposedly one of the best universities in Peru. This is a branch of it, as many small towns have.
The girl and her shoe polish. An example of school values and priorities.
Like many schools in the world, the color of your shoes, and what they look like is for some reason important to the people in power at the school. This girl actually carries shoe polish with her and a brush to keep her shoes looking "good." She saw nothing wrong with this. She has already been brainwashed to believe shiny black shoes are important. And she was one of the more intelligent highschool students I have talked to in Peru. Remember Peru is a country so poor that many people live in houses with no electricity, cook with firewood and can only afford to eat rice three times a day. Yet they think shining shoes is so important that they would actually spend money on shoe polish instead of on food or something as unimportant here as a book for a child or teen to read at home.
Here are students from a day care center, I presume, walking
along holding a rope to "keep them in line". Peru is
the only country in the world, by the way, where I have seen
ropes used like this.
Here are other kids roped in while standing around in another of the many ceremonies.
Here is an intelligent girl on her way home from school with her arm load of books. Yet she could not say "What's your name?" in English
Here is a sign inside the hallway of a Catholic school in Trujillo. It says A Dominican soul, loves God, loves Eucharist Jesus, Loves Maria, Loves to study.
Here is an 18 girl who had a good enough education to get into law school. Yet it was a bit lacking in what we could call "Social and Emotional Skills". She is the one named Giuliana, who I wrote about on my website before. I wrote about her because she and her mother got into an argument and she stabbed her mother to death. Her father is a judge, by the way.
One from Ecuador
Here is one from Ecuador.... Why these girls are forced to wear all white uniforms in such a dirty place as Ecuador, or Peru, where they wash their clothes by hand, makes little sense to me. This is not some kind of nursing school either. It is a regular highschool in a small town. If you look carefully you will see that the socks have the school name or intials on them. And if these girls didn't wear the right socks, they would be punished. If you think this is only in a backwards place like Ecuador or Peru, you are mistaken. In "modern" England, with technology advanced enough to invade countries on other continents, students will also be punished for not wearing the "proper" school uniform. In some schools in Peru a student is not even allowed in the door if they are not dressed as they are ordered to.
Education at home
|Here what this sign says:
I found this sign in a restaurant in Jain, Peru. One block from the main square
|Mientras vivas en ésta casa,
deberás hacer lo que yo te ordene.
Cuando establezcas tu hogar
En esta casa no existe democracia.
Somos padre e hijo
Por ello tú harás,en esta casa,
Here is a sign in the public square of a small town called Tucume. It lists the top scoring students on a university entrance exam. Just one more example of the pressure to perform and the system of social reward and reinforcement for conforming to the prevailing social values.
An elementary school.
The students have to do this every morning. Here they are in the process of lining up so they can stand at attention for the morning inspection and lectures. The woman in the foregrand is also wearing a uniform. And she has a name tag on. She is a student teacher. Notice the boy in the back, leaning against the wall. In some schools he would be hit with a stick for doing this. And he might have been here had anyone seen him. Again, this is not just Peru, this is the way schools were in countries like England until very recent history. Chances are very good that your parents went to a school where they could be hit for merely trying to be comfortable as this boy was. I can identify with this boy, by the way. I would have been doing exactly the same thing. And if someone had hit me for it, I would remember it and resent it for the rest of my life. In fact, I was hit with a board called a "paddle" when I was in around 10 then again when I was around 12. And not because I had been doing something like getting in a fight. No, the first time it was simply because I didn't want to do long division. The second time I was making jokes in US history class. Obviously the class was not interesting enough to keep my attention. But instead of someone punishing the teacher for wasting my time, I was the one who was punished because I did not sit there like a dead zombie.
cubran, firmes, descanso y atencion (the motions they are ordered to go thru. Something like, space, stand, at ease, attention)
I was told by more than one student and parent that they pull on the kids ears and hit them on the hands with sticks here, which I think is common in most schools in Peru.
Here is an intelligent univerisity psychology student. She is wearing this white shirt over her regular clothes because she is a psycholgoy student. Another example, of how the Peruvians love uniforms and get some sense of importance and identity from being a part of a group. I talked to her for about a half an hour. But then she had to go because she was afraid her mother would get angry. Her mother had recently hit her on the arm with a kitchen knife because she had been "talking back" to her. Her mother, by the way, is a teacher. Though she is one of the more intelligent, least conforming people I met in Peru, she still believes that Mary was a virgin.
This was taken at a McDonalds restaurant, but it reminded me of something I saw in a school in the USA. Notice how this girl is sitting. Both legs are curled up underneath her. It looks a bit uncomfortable to me, but she chose to sit that way, so she is obviously comfortable. Yet in the school where my cousin works in Pennsylvania, I saw a teacher tell a boy who was sitting something like this while eating to sit "properly" or something to that effect. The way the boy was sitting was not bothering anyone. It was only bothering the teacher, who was so close-minded that she actually believed there was something wroing with the boy sitting in a way which hs own inner nature had guided him to sit. I have heard of this in other schools, so I wanted to show this picture to give you something to think about. The boy obeyed her, but what if he hadn't what if had said to her: What's the problem? I am comfortable. I am not hurting anyone?
I think it is fair to say that in most buildings that are called "schools" all around the world, the "teacher" would feel defied and it would cause a power struggle. And the teacher would ultimately win because of his or her ability to rely on brute force if necessary.
One of the many private English schools in Lima. Teaching English is a huge business because the public schools do such a terrible job of it. But if your family does not have enough money to send you to a private language school, you will probably never learn enough conversational English to say "Where are you from?" Instead you will be taught a lot of grammer rules which you will very quickly forget.
I've never seen so much exaggerated marketing propoganda for schools. This sign one says "We are the institute with the most graduates working." And, in the second picture, above the dark blue line, it says "Join the best." And notice the dark suitl, white shirt and red tie. The "student" looks like a banker, lawyer, or politician in the USA or England. This is how the look of "success" is being promoted in places as remote as small city in Peru.
This one is for another "pre-university:" A pre-university is a place where they try to get you to memorize enough facts to get you to pass the mandatory university entrance exam. These are for profit businesses. It was explained to me that the public schools do such a bad job of education that students will have to spend 1-3 years in one of these pre-universitiy preparation schools. This sign says "Here is where your history of success begins."
Your Destiny Depends on this Exam
This was a sign in a private, for profit, pre-university school in Chiclayo. It says "Your destiny depends on this exam" and it means the university entrance exam. Of course the more the people believe this, the more money the school makes.
This is an "Institucion de Educacion Superior Privado". It has its license on the sign RMN 186 2001 ED. This is another example of how there are private schools all over the place and how the signs are often wider than the doors to the schools.
The University of Señor de Sipan
This is a private university. It is owned by the man in the picture. Here is the main office. It is next to the main office of another of his "universities". I'm not really sure why he started a second one, maybe for tax reasons, but surely for financial reasons of some sort. You can tell he looks like a banker. But look how serious he is trying to look. As if he is thinking about something deep, maybe how to extract even more money from his Peruvian countrymen. One thing which quickly becomes apparent in Peru is that what is called "education" is mostly about making money. If not that, then it is about brainwashing obedient, compliant citizens, depending on whether it is a state or private school. (It hurts to even call these places "schools".)
Here is the friendly office worker who I talked to in the office on the right in the above pic. She is wearing the required uniform. Yes, even the office workers have to wear uniforms. Notice how her jacket is as long as her skirt. Makes me wonder why they even have them wear the skirt! Such needlessly expensive clothes makes even less sense in such a poor country. Of course the idea they want to create is that if you spend money at their "university" you will later make money and you, too, can throw away money on needlessly expensive clothes and thus create the impression that you are "succesful."
On another day I found the language department office. The office is open and the secretary is sitting behind the bars. She comes out to unlock them so you can go in and talk. (Chiclayo)
This sign is inside the office. I'm not sure of all it says but it says that if you are 15 minutes late you won't be able to enter the classroom. And if you are late three times or absent twice in a semester you lose the entire semester's credit. Just another small example of how they threaten and punish in Peru. Of course they threaten and punish in nearly all "schools" is the world, but here it is just more obvious and less hidden under impressive sounding words.
On another day I met Maribel, a student at this "university". She invited me to her philosophy class, which is required for the psychology degree. Here is the campus. I had to go past a guard to get in. The whole place is surrounded by a fence or wall, as are all nearly schools and universities I have seen in both Ecuador and Peru.
One of the first things I noticed was the discrimination. The students are required to go around the corner to go in the side entrance. But the professors are allowed to go in the main entrance. You can see the students turning the corner to go around the side, where they will be checked for ID, even though they were already checked once at the gate. The picture on the right is of two professors. They also have to go past a guard, who is in the booth with the big window. I had to get a visitor's permit to go to the class. I felt like I was in the CIA headquarters or something. There was much more "corporate feel" to this place than "university", which makes sense actually when I remember it is business first and foremost.
The professors have to wear name tags. And I am guessing they have to wear ties, too. This was a philosophy professor by the way. He looks more like an accountant to me, though. And he didn't encourage the students to think for themselves at all. I sat through the whole class. I have more pics I will probably post later.
Here is a girl who made it through highschool. She is watching soap operas in between waiting on customers at work. Would you say that the education system instilled in her the love of learning?
Law student. I saw her on a bus. We rode together about 15 minutes. Her face stayed the same way the whole time. It looked like a face of someone trying hard to control her feelings. Someone who had been over-educated and felt superior to others. She seemed to want nothing to do with anyone else on the bus. She seemed to feel above even being on the bus. She looked like a statue made of stone, with a heart of stone as well. She reminded me of people who have studied professions like law and now feel better than everyone else who is not a "professional" like them. You can't see her clothes in this picture but they were needlessly expensive. You can also see the make-up she had on. In all her years of school she hadn't been taught that appearances really aren't as important as the marketing types would have you believe.
Poster inside a private (for profit) university. It shows people in suits and ties and says "Be a professional. 100% competitive"
This is inside the school for training future teachers. They had a big party the night before for the new students. Pilsen is a beer company. They provided the stage free since the students could be counted on to drink plenty of beer. There were fights, the police were called and someone tried to steal some of the computers. And remember, these are the future teachers of Peru.
Here are a few more pics...
Peru Education page 2
And here is a page on a Unveristy Entrance Exam for Psychology Majors