in the Signing of Agreements
Signing of Agreement with the Ministry of Education
Speech by CVR President
Mister Minister of Education,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since the inception of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
its member were aware of the deep moral character of our mandate.
Indeed it demands us to investigate what happened and thus
help the Nation to remember the violence suffered in the last
twenty years. However it also requires us to suggest the ways
to overcome that self-destruction legacy and to lay the foundation
for a true national reconciliation.
This second dimension of our mandate, as we understand it,
will only be fulfilled as we are capable of starting a process
to recover long despised values among us. At the same time,
if we sow other values compatible with the democratic, peaceful
and fair society we want to build. Seeking this ethical recovery
of the Nation we need the cooperation of several state and
society institutions, among which a main role corresponds to
the Ministry of Education.
Due to the nature of its work, the institution responsible
for leading the country’ s educational policy is- with
no need of an explanation- our natural allied in this effort
and we go to it to find spontaneous understanding and identification
with our task from the first day as well as a natural convergence
with our objectives. This confluence of spirits and purposes
has made the road, which brings us to this moment of signing
this inter-institutional agreement, a very fluid one.
Between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Ministry
of Education there is, in fact, a remarkable community of purposes.
Our common goal is to instill these attitudes and values in
the Peruvian society so they permit us to become a community
of free individuals who are proud of their freedom. At the
same time, it should also be a community aware of the value
of our brethren and respectful of the laws regulating our relationships
with others, as well as tolerant towards our differences.
Much has been thought regarding the reasons for which Peruvian
democracy suffers from chronic precariousness. We must also
reflect much about the reasons - or the lack of reasons- that
threw us into the path of violence we deplore today. Regarding
those problems, we will inevitably find the issues we want
to face through this agreement: absence or weakening of civil
culture at valuing others and at respecting the rules of the
game - respect, tolerance, truthfulness - that permit human
cohabitation to become a fulfillment and not an oppression
Thus, it is indispensable to carry out a joint action as the
one we shall start after this agreement. This task of ethically
recovering our Nation is something we want to carry out with
children and adolescents still in school and it must take into
account an essential step, which is not always agreeable: have
the population become aware of the terrible facts the country
has lived through by having them feel the pain our humblest
brethren had to silence for so long and, from there, sincerely
reflect on our failures and faults.
This awareness of past wrongs would be more effective than
a vast task of educating these children and youth in values
and attitudes, as required for future active citizens and for
sound and healthy democracy needs. It is hard to solve something
that has not been perceived in the first place as a problem.
Therefore, our students must really feel that abuse by the
stronger, mockery of civic cohabitation rules, law transgression,
undue profiting from public positions are far from being an
acceptable way of life and are on the contrary a true scandal
affecting us all.
Creating a civic culture and promoting humane and democratic
morality certainly requires to work on the contents taught
to students. Our agreement hence considers interesting curricular
innovation proposals as pilot experiences. Nevertheless, as
education has shown in the last decades what you do in the
classroom is as important as what you say in the classroom.
Democracy is only learnt practically. So we need to promote
tolerant attitudes among the students who share classrooms
and school yards. This would be part of the education for peace
we want to jointly promote.
Finally, an education project -whichever its aim- would only
be a chimera if it did not pay special attention to the essential
educational agent, teachers. Peruvian teachers have permanently
witnessed of their vocation. We have to support that vocation
by putting in their hands the tools to make it come true. Therefore,
our agreement includes a relevant teacher training chapter
including methodological support and guidelines to prepare
a citizen education course.
As I have said, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, found
a warm reception in the Ministry of Education from the first
day. This openness is based in the community of our aspirations.
This convergence, this shared commitment that I deeply thank,
Mister Minister, is the best guarantee that the activities
we start by signing this agreement will reach a good conclusion
and will become a real contribution in the construction of
that yearned for democratic and peaceful society.
Salomón Lerner Febres
Truth and Reconciliation Commission