Peru high school textbooks praise & defend terrorism

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

It has been six days since Mercedes Cabanillas, a congressional representative for the APRA party, affirmed that high school social studies textbooks contained sections that defended and praised terrorism in Peru.

Despite the accusation and affirmation made almost one week ago, José Antonio Chang, the country’s Minister of Education, has not given the names of those responsible for placing this type of material in the high school books.

The minister has however, announced that a commission made up of specialists and congressional representatives will be put together to investigate the case and determine – within 20 days – if there is enough evidence to take the textbooks out of Peru’s high school classrooms.

"First we have to see the results of this evaluation. If it’s necessary we’ll have to collect the textbooks but I’m sure that there are very debatable topics," said Chang, explaining there should be clarifications on topics that could be interpreted in two ways.

He affirmed that the commission would study and work on perfecting the textbooks, explaining that ambiguous subjects would be clarified.

"This is a very controversial issue but if there is something that needs to be corrected, something to be perfected and improved than it will be done," said the minister of education.

Over 500,000 of these textbooks were published by Norma Book Company. 200,000 are currently in use by high school students.