Intercultural Bilingual Education Program for Better Performance in Schools : The case of the Indigenous Children of the Amazon
Alvarado, Betty M.
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The program looks to improving the quality of service delivery for this community with bilingual curricula which would trigger the need for appropriate pedagogical bilingual teaching methods in classrooms, with ad hoc instructional materials and teachers with the required expertise and the capability to manage a bilingual setting and culture. At the end, the expected results from this quality improvement exercise are: an increase in enrollment, higher schooling (average of number grades reached), and reduction in dropout and repetition rates. The outcome of such bilingual programs, based on some international experiences points to an improvement in learning and performance levels in children. The issue is controversial, because while Peru was short of funds for education in the past, and serving a dispersed population like in the Amazon is more expensive than working with the urban population, the argument of costs is not entirely correct. As previous research has proved that bilingual education for children who do not speak the official language, if properly implemented, has greater potential to improve their learning experience both in terms of speed and quality. The paper tests the positive returns of the proposed IBE program using two techniques: cost effectiveness and private benefits and provides ideas to engage the results in the current policy discussions in the Ministry, the rest of the public sector and the academia.