A New Social Contract for Peru: An Agenda for Improving by Daniel Cotlear

By Daniel Cotlear

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Extra resources for A New Social Contract for Peru: An Agenda for Improving Education, Health Care, and the Social Safety Net

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The unions, unable to prevent wages from falling, focused successfully on an agenda that has allowed professionals to compensate their low wages through engaging in other economic activities. Teachers and doctors seek alternative sources of income. About two-thirds of teachers have a second job. As a source of income, on average the teaching job provides only 41 percent of the household’s income and 53 percent of the income of health professionals. The implication is that work and career decisions of education and health professionals, such as location, schedules, investment in training, or acceptance of administrative duties, will be determined by the overall economic strategy of the household, and the public sector career is only one of several considerations.

Trainers and graduate students are content because many institutions have openings for them. They do not perceive that the system and current consensus will impede the overhaul of public education and that the majority of the education students (even if they are better than current teachers) will not find employment. The union Like all professional unions, this group defends the professional prestige of its associates and seeks to obtain economic recognition and improved working conditions for its members.

The Ministry of Education estimates that in 2004 it employed 297,000 teachers and administrators, a third of whom worked in rural areas and 83 percent of whom had a pedagogical degree. The Ministry of Health estimates that it employs 65,000 health professionals, 44 percent of whom are in Lima. Among doctors, 58 percent are in Lima. An unknown number of teachers and health workers hired by municipalities and communities, and volunteers (in the tens of thousands) also work in primary schools and in primary care clinics.

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A New Social Contract for Peru: An Agenda for Improving by Daniel Cotlear
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