After periods of mass inflation and political insurrection through the 1980s and 1990s, Peru has blossomed economically over the last few years and has become a major tourist destination. In the educational realm, this is reflected by an ever-increasing number of overseas students coming to the country to study for short- and long-term programs. The country still faces challenges in offering equal educational opportunities to all its citizens.
While public education is free, private schools operate at all levels of the education system. Schools in both the public and private sectors follow the national curriculum, set federally and overseen by local education authorities, as mandated in a 2008 ministerial decree.
The academic school year is entirely contained with one calendar year, running from the beginning of March through to November/December. The reason for this is that Peru sits in the southern hemisphere, so autumn there begins in March and the summer holidays are taken from the end of December to February. There is also a winter holiday in July, although the exact timing varies by region.
The language of instruction is Spanish. However, in some regional primary schools, a local language such as Aymará or Quechua is the language of instruction with Spanish offered as a second language.