The International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP), held the First International Seminar on March 12 at the National Congress of Paraguay, with the topic: “Values in Professional Competency Development”.
The International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP) is a group of universities, colleges, businesses, professorships, professionals of higher education, higher education institutes, ministries of education, accreditation agencies and international regulatory bodies of higher national and international education, constituted with the objective of building a culture of peace by quality education oriented on the development of professional competencies, based on respect for the dignity and the advocacy and protection of human rights.
Representatives of different universities and institutions of higher education of Paraguay, Mexico and Argentina conformed the table of panelists.
Dr. Dionisio Ortega, Dean of the Nihon Gakko University gave the official welcoming to the event and the ALIUP secretary, Dr. Hermelinda Alvarenga, was who explained the purposes of why this alliance of universities was created:
“I want to emphasize that it is a great honor, for the organizers, that Paraguay is the host of the First International Seminar “Values in Professional Competency Development”, promoted by the International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP).
The ALIUP will be a strategic partner and active collaborator in the mission to promote respect for human dignity and fundamental rights, with the noble purpose of installing in the nations institutions of higher education the appreciation of peace as a complement to the formation of values, in the professional competency development, and in the challenge of assuring quality in the field of higher education”. (Read full speech)
Dr. William Soto presented a proposal in the field of university education and proposed the creation of a new educational system:
“Just as we train professionals in different areas with the power of education, through my proposal: ‘Chair for Peace’, we can be more humane, mediators for peace, activists for peace, and therefore, an equal, fair, inclusive and peaceful society.
We must provide our youth with the opportunity of a comprehensive education in every field through the ‘Chair of Peace’, to form mediators of peace, to become agents that multiply respect for different ways of thinking.
In this XXI century, specialists in Education, through the International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP), must begin the task of discerning the lessons of experience, and propose the design of educational system that meets the conditions and requirements to become the model to be followed; who, besides helping to properly train citizens in skills and competencies, must educate them for peace”. (Read full speech)
Representing Mexico, Professor Juan Carlos Herrera Ascencio, Dean of the Valle University, spoke on the importance of forming professionals with ethical and human attitudes and to center education on universal values:
“The system must understand that education should not only be seen a means to produce something material. We, the adults, sometimes make that mistake, because we tell our youth: ‘Study, because you must become someone in life. Study, because you have to have money. Study, because you have to buy a house and a car.’ But we rarely tell them: ‘Study, because you have to be a better human being. Study, because you have to help society. Study, because you have to transform your environment’ and that is something we have to change today.” (Read full speech)
Dr. Rene Nicoletti, Vice Chancellor of the National University of La Matanza in Argentina, analyzed on the importance of education for the development of peoples:
“And what is that value? Peace. ‘It is a political, cultural, and social integrationist, a union under the sign of equality, under peace, an autonomist speech…’ In such a way that we have had, our university…, that is why we extremely thankful to the International Alliance of Universities for Peace, who have called us; because we have always been working, let’s say, along these lines, to this day. And then, as it was said here: A country or a regional bloc can only go as far as its education; but not just any education. In this case, we are saying that it’s an education for development. (Read full speech)
Dr. Raul Aguilera Mendez, President of the Accreditation Agency (ANEAES), also spoke of the need of a change in the university educational system, where education, apart from transmitting knowledge, should be based on values:
“We cannot reach a culture of peace or the quality of education if we continue to use a primitive form of evaluation. This is happening today, and I believe it happens not only in Paraguay; because of regional experience, this happens in many places. The third idea is how are we going to achieve a culture of peace if we only evaluate knowledge.
University professors have forgotten to work on attitudes. We worry too much about Science, and it is essential, but we have neglected the formation of attitudes, of professional competencies that may open a path for them. Because, at the end they will not be able to display their average or gold medal all the time; but they can display their social competence, their attitudes.” (Read full speech)
Among the actions of the International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP), is the creation and development of the “Chair in Culture of Peace” in higher education institutions and the development of a culture of peace and values as transverse axes in training programs at higher educational institutions.