The President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has urged governments in the Pacific Rim to move forward with education reforms vital to preparing their people to cope with rapid but unpredictable changes unfolding in the global economy. 

President Kuczynski underscored the importance of modernizing education systems on the heels of a key meeting of Education Ministers from APEC member economies in Lima. He set the tone for implementation of newly unveiled collaborative measures for achieving this objective, cushioning against the unintended effects of technological and socio-economic transition. 

“Peru and economies at its income level face a huge challenge today which is that our educational systems were organized years ago based on the idea of ‘learning what’ and education today is about ‘learning how,” President Kuczynski explained. “We’re evolving so fast at the moment with 4G, 5G and everything else that it is no longer enough to know something.” 

“Change is going to come and it is going to come very fast,” he continued. “If we have the old system of learning with books and brick and mortar schools, and teachers who were taught under that system – they learned their trade 25-30 years ago – they’re probably not adapted to this modern world.” 

President Kuczynski, who will chair the 2016 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting here next month to improve growth and living standards in the region, went on to describe the direction that education systems must go to support these ends. 

He detailed his administration’s plan to increase funding for public education, which enrolls most of Peru’s 8 million students, as well as to bridge gaps in quality and ensure access to people in remote areas. He also offered support for Education Ministers’ complementary efforts to boost the knowledge and skills, innovation capacity and employability of workforces. 

“Education really has to focus on preparing people of all ages to adapt to change,” President Kuczynski concluded. “The one thing you can be sure of is that until your last day on earth, you have to learn. If you stop learning, you’re dead. That’s the challenge. We’ll certainly talk about that in November.” 

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For additional information, please contact: 

David Hendrickson (in Lima) +65 9137 3886 at drh@apec.org

Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at mc@apec.org 

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