Overview of Peru Education System

The Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educacion) administers the education system in Peru.  In Peru, there are both public and private educational institutions. Private schools in Peru are run by religious organisations, Catholic Church, and cooperatively managed. 

Compulsory Education

Education in Peru is compulsory for children aged 5 to 17.

Pre-primary Education (Educacion Inicial)

Pre-primary education in Peru is offered by nurseries, kindergartens and other preschools. This educational level works towards progressing the child’s emotional, physic and intellectual abilities, thus preparing them for further education. 
  • Creches is for children up to 3 years old
  • Kindergarten is for children aged 3 to 5
  • Preschool education is compulsory for children aged 5-6. 

Primary Education (Educacion Primaria)

Primary education in Peru is compulsory to attend and is for children aged 6 to 12. This education level is divided into 3 cycles of 2-years each.
  • Cycle one consists of grades 1 and 2
  • Cycle two consists of grades 3 and 4
  • Cycle three consists of grades 5 and 6
Curriculum: Mathematics, religious education, communication, environment and nature, science, arts, physical education, social studies, and personal social development. 

Teaching hours per day: 6

Secondary Education (Educacion Secundaria)

Secondary education in Peru is compulsory to attend and is for children aged 12 to 17.
  • Duration: 5 years
Secondary education is divided into 2 stages:
  • Stage 1: General secondary education of 2 years duration
  • Stage 2: Academic or technical secondary education of 3 years. At this stage, students are required to choose between academic and technical secondary education. 
For the first 2 years of the secondary education, all pupils follow a general education curriculum. For the final 3 years, pupils select either the academic stream or the technical stream.

Curriculum: Mathematics, environment and nature, religious education, science and technology, communication, English, civics, social skills, geography, social studies, history, art, economics, physical education, and vocational training. 

Teaching hours per day:7

General Secondary Education

This educational level is compulsory for all and offers general studies.
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Ages: 12 to 14
  • Grades: 7 to 8

Academic Secondary Education (Ciclo Diversificado Cientifico-Humanista)

Students after completion of the general secondary education can go for academic secondary education. This stage offers specialization in science or arts.
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Grades: 9-11
  • Ages: 14 to 17

Technical Secondary Education (Ciclo Diversificado)

Students are completion of the general secondary education can go for technical secondary education. Students who opt for this stream attend secondary schools with technical variation (colegios secundarios con variante tecnica).
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Grades: 9-11
  • Ages: 14 to 17


Upon successful completion of the secondary education, students are awarded the Official Certificate of Secondary Education Studies (Certificado Oficial de Estudios de Educacion Secundaria). Students who possess this certificate are eligible for university-level education.

Higher Education

Higher education in Peru is governed by the General Law of Education, 1982 and the University Law of 1983. Higher education in Peru is provided by the universities, higher postgraduate centres, technological institutions, and higher institutes and schools. There are both public and private higher education institutions in Peru. 

Higher institutes and schools offer technical, professional and expert diplomas.

Technological institutes provide programmes that last for 3 years and lead to the title of technical professional. There are certain programmes that last for 4 years and lead to the title of ‘professional’.

Universities in Peru offer undergraduate and graduate level programmes leading to academic degrees- bachelor, master and doctorate degrees. Professional degrees and certificates are also awarded.

To know the education structure in Peru, read the post "Peruvian Education Structure".
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