Peru: The state of education in Peru is still very difficult for children from poor families. Families that have money can afford a better private education for their children while children from poor households are more likely to drop out of school, to support their families by working. Nearly one-third of Peruvian children work long hours in mines and on construction sites.
In 1997, an initiative group was formed by parents from the “Hidrostal” kindergarten in Zarate that founded the Asociación “Colegio Micael” in 2000. Through the dedication and commitment of teachers and parents the school began its work in 2001 with 11 children in three classes. On rented premises of the local boy scouts, children from the Zarate kindergarten could now attend a Waldorf school. Previously they were not able to do so because their parents were not able to pay the school fees at the Colegio Waldorf, the other Waldorf School in Lima. The new premises of the school and the neighbouring property were eventually bought by the Asociacion Pro Niño in 2003 and donated to the school. Today Colegio Micael operates with six grades.
A major concern is that the children often live in two completely different worlds, at home and at school. The lifestyle of many families and the fact that usually both parents have to work leaves the children too often to themselves and their TV or computer games. Another concern is the traffic and the security problem in the 8-million-city of Lima. Due to the high crime rate, all children have to be dropped and picked up at school.
Another major difficulty is the rapidly rising costs of living in Peru. Colleagues with children or parents suffering from diseases have to work two jobs either in crafts, baking or tutoring. Even public school teachers often have to work two jobs. But despite all the problems the school is a harmonious, eager to learn and happy community, and is looking for sponsors for the education of their financially disadvantaged students.