Professors from Paraguay attend the II International Congress "Educating to Remember" convened by GEAP and the Ministry of Education and Culture
The teaching of principles, values and human rights through the Holocaust
The National Government of Paraguay, through the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, held the II International Teaching Congress "Educating to Remember", on April 28, 2016, within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the two institutions.
Around 300 professors were trained on the themes of the Holocaust, contextualization of history, Nazism, the legal system, universal values, and culture of peace and humans rights in the facilities of the "Mariscal Francisco Solano López" Auditorium of the Itapúa Department.
Government representatives attended and participated in the educational day.
The opening of the event was in charge of the president of the Departmental Board of Itapúa, representing the departmental governor, Dr. Gustavo Miranda; the executive president of GEAP, Dr. William Soto Santiago; Gabriela Lara, director general of the GEAP; Celso Ramírez as departmental coordinator of the MEC, the director of the human rights department of MEC, among other guests from the academic field.
In her opening words, Dr. Miranda said:
"When tolerance, communication, patience, fraternity, and fundamentally education ceases, that is when the human being turns to violence. That is why this very select audience of professors is so important, to act as multiplying agents in this culture of peace.”
In representation of the MEC, Alba Martinez said:
«Para nosotros es el puntapié inicial de todo un proceso, porque seguirán los encuentros. La idea es que este proyecto se constituya en un espacio de reflexión».
On her part, Gabriela Lara outlined the objectives of the "Educating to Remember" Program and stressed the need to safeguard humanity from every discriminatory or detrimental act against human dignity, no matter how small it is, summarizing why it is necessary to currently teach the Holocaust as a paradigm of genocide.
In this regard, when considering the importance of the Program led by the GEAP, the Itapúa Governor considered, by means of Resolution 264/2016, to declare the Second International Professors Congress to be of departmental interest.
Education for the integral formation of the human being
The keynote address that opened the meeting was led by Dr. William Soto, and focused on the reasons for proposing the educational program containing didactic planning and methodological guidelines for each thematic content; emphasizing the reversion and practice of actions of respect for human dignity, ethical, moral and spiritual principles and values, as themes that promote within the student actions in defense of human rights when facing manifestations of violence, injustice or intolerance, whether they threaten their rights or those of students of other cultures, peoples or nations.
"The Holocaust, a paradigm of genocide, aims to contribute to the development of an integral, critical human being who bases his decisions and ethical ideals on human needs and interests and builds his own learning, achieving important assimilations in recognition and development of their attitudes that promote peace".
With workshops and exercises, professors approached the concepts, history of the Holocaust, the legal system, reflection and awareness about peace and humanization.
The participants were trained with three simultaneous workshops through which used the Holocaust as an effective tool in the teaching of values, principles and human rights, as well as themes for the formation of an action plan in the social environment to prevent violations of human rights.
The workshops were conducted by expert lecturers on issues of genocide, a culture of peace and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Through case analysis, Dr. Gloria María Abarca Obregón, doctor in international studies of Peace, Conflicts and Development in the UNESCO Chair (Mexico); Dr. Franco Fiumara, Criminal Judge of the Oral Court of the Argentine Republic; and Dr. Liz Caroll Cowan, fiscal agent of the Central Area Public Ministry; experts in the study of the Shoah and Dr. Karen Rebibo, knowledgeable in subjects of Pedagogy of the Holocaust by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Colombia); emphasized the chronology of Nazism and the Holocaust, focusing on the fact that the events that occurred during World War II are a historical reference to determine the importance of educating in values and as the main prevention tool.
"Peace is not unique, it is an unfinished process that is built on a daily basis."-Dr. Gloria María Abarca.
«La función preventiva se va a dar en el aula. Vamos a formar chicos con valores humanos, adolescentes que van con los valores que ustedes transmitieron, y futuros funcionarios en las universidades con lo que ustedes supieron transmitir al tiempo de informar en las aulas». —Dr. Franco Fiumara.
«Enseñamos la Shoá hoy para comprender dilemas del pasado y analizar sus proyecciones actuales». —Dra. Karen Rebibo.
"We have the power in us, transformation begins in one." -Dr. Liz Caroll Cowan.
At the closing of the meeting the honorable Ambassador of Israel in Paraguay, Dr. Pablo Peleg Lewi was present, lecturing on the psychosocial impact on the individual, before genocidal events occurred in the Holocaust and in present time.
The attendees of the II Congress received a certification of attendance that counts with a Resolution of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Paraguay.