Patriotism has its place—as an expression of loyalty. It is not a hood to cover reality as if it were some medieval monk scurrying about to find heretics and apostates. Patriotism, especially to a partisan party or religion, is both plutocratic as well as destructive of the educational process. While I have written at length about bad education in the USA (where 7000 high school students drop out of education every day) and in other nations, when I noted that education in Perú is the third worst education in the world, it sets off a fire
alarm heated by Perú patriotism that Perú universities are the best. They are not (for Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos that shares the 601 place with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú). The growing scandal of corruption in the Roman Catholic Church indicates that it may well be on its last century, especially with the odiously opportunistic Opus Dei prelature that delights in transmogrifying reality in search of a past that never existed. No where but Perú is this evil organization, Opus Dei, such a total threat to the treatment of mortals, where its male antagonists speak out against women who rightfully demand choice, while turgid theological vociferate ranting roars against men who want to plan families and stop acting like cuyes constantly in heat.
The principal source of this nefarious plot to topple sanity is Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima (who was formally accused of murdering, or at least planning the assassination of his predecessor, the equally conservative Jesuit cleric cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora, a native of Lima, who “officially” died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Cipriani Thorne was lucky as he had friends in high places within the Vatican who squelched any question that their favored archbishop might be a murderer. Cipriani Thorne saw the accusations destroyed or rejected by the Roman curia eager to protect itself and its predatory priests.
The high-handed tactics of the Vatican enraged Perú’s best known writer and only Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa. Vargas Llosa became personally involved, and in a stinging attack in the Spanish newspaper El País, described Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne as a “representative of the Church’s worst tradition, its authoritarian and obscurantist tradition”.
Cipriani Thorne, even though many youth had come forward claiming that they had seen the future prelate frequent the Downtowner (a homosexual bar in Lima), was the leading Opus Dei cleric and only Opus Dei cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. He had support of many bishops, but not all of the bishops in Perú supported Cipriani Thorne. The cardinal had some support among some intellectuals and politicians, but not all, as he was a staunch supporter of Alberto Fujimori and of dictatorship in Perú, which if it were under a Fujimori, could remove religious liberty from those not practicing the Roman Catholic faith.
While Cipriani’s Roman Catholic College of Bishops rule as if they were still sitting in the Torquemada’s torture carnivorously cruel chambers in Spain or sixteenth century Lima where human heads were piled in roles to celebrate forced conversions, closures of institutes and schools that sought private investigation, and the cranium of women and young boys savagely beaten to death. Early Spanish records noted what is still common today–that when landlord or priest wanted someone for sex and the individual refused, the penalty for refusal was instant death. Many executed were thrown unceremoniously into the catacombs over which the clergy of Lima prayed, offered the Mass, and sang hymns to a god without mercy. The Council of Bishops were not pawns, however, for Cipriani to move across a chessboard already soaked in human blood with the past stained by both terrorists and police and Fujimori thugs.
In 2007, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum, out of 131 countries ranked in the world, Perú had the dubious distinction of being in last place in the quality of its elementary school education. In the areas of math and science it was in the 130th place. The high schools fared the same: they are bad throughout Perú and in all subject areas. Much of it is due to poverty, and schools are multigraded and the structures are in poor condition that the governments of Peru historically ignore.
Debilitating 96% of the people of Perú, the issue of poverty throughout Perú keeps education from expanding, libraries basically remain non-existent, and only the most desperate and ill-educated apply for teaching positions as most teachers need to teach in two or more schools in one day just to provide food for their families. All governments throughout Perú history have uniformly ignored the need of future generations and squandered taxes for private adventures, personal pleasures, and family greed: from the Congressional representatives (such as “Señor Pollo” (a nickname for Jose Anaya who was convicted of illegal billing the Perú people and received a five year prison sentence; watch this video) billed Congress for ”excessive” consumption of chicken dinners at the expense of the Perú people in two days (the actual charge reads: “pues retornó el 25 y 27 de abril, días en que consumió pollos por S/.428 y S/. 397, respectivamente, según consta en las boletas N° 00970 y N° 00979.” of chicken lunches). Anaya was not unique in his brazen theft. The Perú congress has long been known for its built in corruption, as if any one is elected to sit in Congress, that person collects a pension from the government as long as he or she is alive. Bills are turned in for nearly expense, and the Treasurer of Congress signs off on the bill and issues a voucher for payment. What was strange was the case that appeared with the sitting Treasurer of Congress. The Treasurer of Congress, Lucía Bravo Roncal, billed Congress S/.4547 for a personal shopping trip to Italy while Congress was sitting.
All surveys and tabulations on the quality of education around the world point out one damning and devastating fact. One of the worse places for an education is in Perú. This is more humiliating when it is known that the worse place for education is within Perú’s universities. What each level of education (each grade) has in common is that none educate. All indoctrinate. Teachers repeat the errors of their instructors who reiterated the fantasies of their former professors. Textbooks are considered nearly sacred since they are in print–even when illegal photocopies that are not complete are passed out to public school children–as what was considered adequate information in the past no matter how recent or far back the past was, it was considered acceptable for the students of today–and for their children.
There are numerous private schools that I have visited that openly encourage students to copy any article, book, thesis, or other form of intellectual property. The librarians at these schools claim that the publisher of any book a student sought gave the student the right to copy the material since the school or university had bought two or more original copies. This is not just with impoverished schools or schools in the mountains or Amazons, but it includes universities and primary and secondary schools in Lima and capitals of provinces as well as towns and villages Perú-wide (read here and here and here where Blockbusters closed down because of the epidemic of illegal photocopying, copying, and illegal sharing). While there are laws officially on legal registers, and police and judges are sworn to uphold them protecting intellectual property, copyright, trademark, and other similar means of retaining the owner or developer’s rights, judges, police, and other law enforcement officials ignore Perú’s copyright laws and in many cases break them directly.
The black market that is rampant throughout Peru has cost Perú over 100,000 jobs since 2005, and the number of those being unemployed or underemployed climbs daily as the corrupt governments of Perú do nothing. Blockbusters and other foreign businesses will never return to Perú because of the high rate of theft among all groups and levels of citizens. When I taught at the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in Lima, the directors of different divisions bragged about how many illegal discs, CDs, books and so forth they had in their homes. They laughed at me when I read the Peru law against plagiarism–with each director, his or her secretary and all students who I taught in the official building in San Isidro telling me that copyright law does not apply to government workers “or those who can get away with it”. Some snorted: “Americans/gringoes are too stupid. They will continue to supply us with music, movies, and books. When they send them down here, we will steal them so that they are free for us. Americans are rich. We are not–so we steal what we cannot afford to pay for”.
I have found this to be the dicta and rubric of Roman Catholic, Adventist, and Baptist schools and churches; it is that widespread). I have watched lawyers, judges, principals, teachers, students go into a theater and film what was being shown. I have witnessed the copying of books on a daily basis. When I go down La Marina in San Miguel, or Jose Balta in Chiclayo, I see illegally copied movies that had not as of that date even been released to theaters in the USA–as I am told that there are Peruanos working in Hollywood who have access to new films before they are released, and copy them to send to their families in Perú so that the family makes money and eats. There are so many mafias in Perú that is difficult to find anyone who is honest. The poorer a person is, the more easily it is to get the person to steal: thus teachers are the worse offenders when it comes to protecting copyright material.
Teachers slouch forward repeating ancient myths they were taught without question, students are irresponsible and memorize just to pass in hopes of obtaining work that doesn’t include driving a taxi, and libraries (few and far between) are for social gatherings.
In 2007, Antonio Chang, the last of the competent and determined Ministers of Education, set out to test over 350,000 Perú teachers (a strategy praised by the largest percentage of Perú parents). SUTEP protested, as most of its members failed the examinations (read here and here and here). One site claims that only 151 out of 185,000 teachers passed the basic competency and literary exam, which is 5,000 more teachers than I cite in several of my published articles (read here and here and here) while another writer cites 181,000). Wikileaks, some being published in El Comercio, noted that almost 50 percent of public school teachers were unable to answer simple questions about mathematics, and more than 30 percent were functionally illiterate. Primary school teachers (where the brightest teachers should be teaching) and those working in rural areas (where education is nearly impossible to achieve) received the lowest scores. In competitiveness, Perú ranked 83 in 2008. Peru was 94th among nations in organizational competitiveness. In the area of innovation it was 83. In development Perú was ranked in the lowest tier. Perú is ranked low in business ethics (92:134), high in police corruption (123 with the lowest being 134: p. 288). Education remains stagnantly low. Perú has laws against plagiarism and intellectual property protection, but ranks 121 out of 134 for open infractions with crimes of plagiarism openly committed by the Department of Justice and all government, industrial, business and especially educational institutions. This has, over the years of growing corruption (especially in the presidencies of provinces and local government) to an overwhelming distrust of political figures and operatives (120:134). Business is strangled by complicated and heavy bureaucracy and regulations (123:134), with the result (127:134) that the infrastructure of Peru is one of the world’s worst. Primary education dropped to 133:134 (second from last in the world; in Bolivia, a nation Perú treats with scorn, the primary rating is 127:134), matching secondary and university education (in Bolivia it is 132:124), with the lowest scores in mathematics, sciences (in Bolivia it is 119:134 compared to Perú that is at 133:134) and foreign languages (especially English where teachers are hired on the bases of age (youngest preferred), and cronyism, with many, female and male, prospective teachers offering sex for appointments).
Research is discouraged at all levels of academe, and university-industry research cooperation comes in at 107:134. Quality of scientific institutions is 121:134, with a large majority of professors in science and agriculture unqualified to teach or do basic research. Knowledge of business and business techniques and competitive advantage is 93:134. Perú educational institutions are ranked at second from last, but within Perú the ranking of Peru universities is unique as while the Pontifical University in Lima is first (not tied with San Marcus), private universities excel more than national universities (for example, Universidad César Vallejo is #19 while Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz is #36).
To do business in Perú or with Perú, at this time, is insanity, as investors are robbed of profits, manufacturers in Perú use shoddy material, and employees are overworked and underpaid and so steal (the average workday in Perú is 12-14 hours, the workweek is six days, and the average salary below S/600 (roughly a little over $200) a month–while attempting to buy a house costs an average of S/.748, to rent an apartment is S/.300, and to take one month of classes in many universities is S/300).
In 2010, only two nations had a worse record for unacceptable (bad) education: Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan. The top two best educated nations are #1 South Korea, and #2 Finland. The USA is #14, and the UK #20.
In the area of languages, the percentage is proportionately lower in Perú. Teachers of foreign languages are woefully inadequate, ill-prepared, and poorly undertained. Better schools of language learning are in Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia and Brasil. The main problem in Perú is the proliferation of Language Centers and shoddy universities, as, at present, anyone can start a university without faculty or facilities–and most do not have a traditional library. There are schools (like Top Class [sic] English) that have websites that
are 100% in Spanish, where are English classes are taught in Spanish, and
where subject matter is elementary.
I am uncertain how Top Class [sic] English had my e-mail address, so I wrote them to inquire about that and other questions that I would have appreciated an answer to inasmuch as I am writing a book on the teaching of English in Perú. I never had a reply. However, I have interviewed a few who have made application with Top Class, and they responded that the courses are taught in Spanish–a common practice among many institutes and schools.
UTP teaches computer use and programming, SENATI began as a trade school (primarily automotives) and branched out to teach languages–basically English as it brings in the greatest revenue, offering the First Certificate in English (FCE; I was its first teacher, and followed by those who had difficulty with pronunciation and grammar), and had one teacher ask me if I would pass him on the FCE examination. When I asked why, he said he would more make more money, and I commented that it would best to learn correct English first, before attempting to teach the language. I notified the director of SENATI who shrugged, and I never saw the “teacher” again. Other institutes advertise for English teachers on the internet–the home and subsequent pages being in Spanish (as with Top Class [sic] English).
All that is required is a diploma (of some sort) but no one seeks transcripts to prove authenticity, and few applicants have ever published anything. Most teachers in Perú will never research even an article; it is a rare teacher who publishes–and in most cases the few publications that see print are self-printed. Peer review is unheard of and seldom used; even when students at the “better” (private or Roman Catholic or church related) universities take an oral examination on a proposed thesis, there are no serious questions, and the committee is not made up of professors in the student’s field. They are selected randomly.
Being a teacher of English, I find that most of my students in the fifth cycle have not passed the basic level of competency, still they have been and continue to be continuously advanced to higher cycles and even graduate, in many cases by teachers whose language skills are submarginal at best. This leads to a renewal of ignorance and the further decline of education in
Perú. Students wrote me, frequently, begging for the lowest possible score, claiming that when they are teachers they will learn the language and prove they were worth the extra “boost” in grade. Later, when I had the opportunity to interview graduating students for positions that required fluency and accuracy in the English language, and found none qualified–and shared that information with my class in English Composition and e-mail correspondence, I received condemnation as seen in this letter:
I was told by many students and faculty in the English Department, that grammar rules, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure were unimportant. The common comment was “if the message is understood, it’s sufficient.” I disagreed. I was fortunate as my Academic Dean supported me, and listened as I offered to teach a course for teachers that would enable each professor to present English correctly (and no longer speak as if he or she were Mick Jagger or Daddy Yankee).
Summary of results of the Grammar for XXXX Professors, summer 2012:
Overview: It was my hope, and ineffectual ambition, to be able to offer the faculty of English the foundations for correct English grammar, and wean teachers at XXXX from vulgar (street) English—so common today. To achieve this goal, I followed classic pedagogical patterns that have been successfully used at major universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Carnegie, and so forth, even though many of these once stellar universities have given up established standards to ensure purity of speech for immediacy and modernism as found on the streets–as is now seen in Cambridge’s sponsorship of the bankrupt IB Programme).
I appropriated the use of individual parts of a sentence: beginning with Articles and ending with Direct Objects. Each part of a sentence was defined, discussed, and an invitation was issued verbally inviting argument, rebuttal, discourse and analysis.
Modus Operandi: The methodology for this course was to introduce each part of grammar as it appears in a well-constructed English sentence. At the beginning of each class, a presentation was given on a particular part of English grammar beginning with articles, then adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs and so forth. After a brief overview with proffered examples and pregnant questions asked, the class was encouraged to engage in small group and class-wide discussion: questioning what was unknown or uncommon, refuting comments that I made, rebutting effectiveness of examples, affirming agreement but with caveats, examples, and so forth. The final hour of each class was devoted to a classic (Aristotelean) workshop: all students were instructed to write sentences emphasizing the grammatical part discussed in class and use it in context within a complete sentence. Papers, requiring from seven to 20 such sentences, were gathered at the end of the time period to be graded that evening by me and then returned to the students the next day after the class, as a group, viewed a PowerPoint presentation of each essay (with the name of the author deleted for the sake of privacy). Before scanning each paper, I highlighted any error, explained why the word, phrase or sentence was incorrect, and detailed how the sentence could be rewritten using perfect English grammar.
Results and reactions: While it was made clear by both the Academic Dean and the Director of the Language Department that this was an obligatory / mandatory course, most faculty-students approached this requirement with a cavalier attitude. This is clearly seen in the number of classes students missed, assignments not turned in, and low scores on participation earned. Some students failed to attend any class after the first scheduled meeting. Other alumni selected to avoid various classes, and many were “unavailable” to attend the last week–it was their “holiday time”.
A few did comment it was wrong for a co-teacher to teach them, even though they had not reached the master degree level and I have an earned doctorate and a plethora of publications. As for publications, four students claimed that research and writing was a waste of time, as students (and faculty, they noted, including themselves) had better “things” to do than to research, read, write, or analyze.
Two students stated that I was a fool to research, write, and publish when I could be in a restaurant drinking beer. There were some exemplary exceptions, but these exceptions were rare.
What was learned from this class? I found the exercise to have been worthwhile. It showed definite trends in the learning processes: a declination, not acceleration in the mastery of subject matter. While I am not in charge of hiring or dismissing any teacher, and most teachers who I know have two or three jobs additional appointments at different universities and schools, their approach to the learning process is elementary at best, but in reality it is unacceptable: not only are the faculty’s students being robbed of a chance to learn, grow intellectually, and be better than their parents in the field of knowledge, and make Perú a better place to live, grow, and learn, but the teachers sitting in class with me failed to appreciate the opportunity the university was offering them: to learn more about English by someone who has written and taught more than fifty years.
I sympathize with my faculty-students and their need to make living, and regret that in any other society those who had a score of less than 14 would not be offered an appointment at a university unless it was of dubious or marginal quality and was in existence to promote religious blind faith and not scholarship. This is the case a low-ranked institutions such as at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, Liberty University and Regents University in Virginia (of Regents Law College first year law class, only 50% of its students passed the Virgina bar exam).
Those students who missed the obligatory grammar class(es) were invited to notify the Directora and myself and arrange for a recovery class. Those who did not turn in papers were invited both by e-mail and in person to create and present to me the missing paper. In nearly every case the students who were absent or did not turn in required papers made no effort to contact me or to find a way to make up the work.
It is true that I am but a teacher at XXXX, but when I was Area Coordinator European Studies (in charge of the departments of Languages, History, Social Sciences, and Art) at XXXX (a Roman Catholic University) in California, I visited with the teachers who showed no to lackadaisical interest in their subject area, teaching, researching or writing. Since university standards were high, turnover was equally high. The university wanted the best teachers for their students. With unconcealed disgust with their professional responsibilities and obligations, holding random office hours and being short with students, I had serious reservations in renewing their contracts. At departmental meetings I made my observations known, supporting my objections with concrete examples of inefficiency and lack of subject matter knowledge either by presenting student evaluations or films I made at the back of the classroom. The faculty who were unresponsive to my entreaties, and irresponsible with the work assigned made no protestation. I left their fates with the faculty senate.
At both universities (the one in Perú, and, earlier, the one in California) there was the personal gratification, warmly welcomed by me, when students questioned examples and even presentations. This showed me that they were thinking independently. I cautioned them against being like Galileo who would renounce his own wisdom and discovery just to make the Roman Catholic Church give him peace and not put him through the tortures that awaited so many scientists, pushing the advance of science and knowledge backwards into past generations, in the same way that John Paul II cautioned Stephen Hawking against a too-rapid advance of science. Benedict XVI has come out publicly stating that it is the role of science to prove the existence of a god–but that is impossible since science tests theories while faith accepts beliefs. It is true that many said what I was offering as commentary did not match their books, and I agreed. I also noted that their books were wrong, that publishers today are more keen to make a profit than to print what is correct. When I was student, a half-a-century ago, we would buy the complete works of Plato in paperback for 95 cents and Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary was $7.95 (it still has its paper jacket on which is imprinted the price)–that I still use. We only made $1 an hour as laborers; still, we saw our investment in books as an investment in our futures. I built my own library from one book to 65,000 volumes that I still maintain (very little of which is fiction).
One of the more mature students (I use this phrase to protect her identity; hereafter I will refer to her as Mrs. M) was uniquely agile in this regard and questioned several trends found commonly in Perú in the teaching of the English language. I noted that most came from either bad textbooks or canned courses such as the IB Programme or books such as Travellers.
The greatest problem is that there is no standardized English and vulgar English has taken over that would have dismayed Samuel Johnson who worked hard in the eighteenth century to standardize the idiom by publishing his massive dictionary on April 15, 1755. The Dictionary was a work that took him nine years to complete with the aid of a single scribe.
Many Perú students have mastered British English (but only vulgar / street English; such as “using a cooker before chipping into a lorry”; in American English that would be “preparing a meal on the stove before getting into a truck”) while others have studied American English (the majority of it being slang; they spoke of “chicks” [girls] and “reeving up” [becoming excited] before “taking a bath” [bathing; I always wondered where they would take that bath--would they really carry a tub or shower stall into the street?]).
While Perú born teachers worked to enhance their knowledge and skills, the American teachers, who generally were the worse teachers, hailed contemporary music (especially the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Daddy Yankee) as the best way to learn English. That I was told by the sales force at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Ate, a suburb of Lima when I first moved to Perú. They threw words around without any knowledge of their meaning, and justified their commentaries as “matching the language of the students” noting that it really “wasn’t all that important to teach proper English as most students” would end up driving Ticos (a small taxi).
Most of the American teachers I knew (I taught with five at a private Roman Catholic colegio, and when I resigned, the others resigned too; they told me that they came to Peru for a temporary stay: they were: “on holiday” or “seeking a chance to meet Perú men” for temporary partnerships. Teaching was for “extra coins”.
While Perú has various “professional groups” from SUTEP (the teachers’ union established to maintain jobs even when the teacher is totally incompetent) to various “institutes” whose sole purpose for existence was to make money off the citizens of Perú who want to escape their native land to move to the USA. Cinemas and tabloids spoke of the USA as if it really were a heaven lined with streets of gold. They were assured everyone had a job, could “get” a house with a swimming pool, and earn extraordinarily high wages with little labor and no need for an education.
No matter what I said, noting that they were living in a cinematic world of fantasy, I was reproached by those who viewed the luxurious lives of stars living in magnificent mansions and crusing on yachts. Angelina Jolie was hailed as a prime example of what the USA offered once they viewed “her home” in “Tomb Raider”. Others declared that Bollywood showed India to be a land of great riches, massive palaces, fine cloth, unlimited gold, and a cornucopia of food for all–there were, the students declared, no poor or hungry as existed in Perú, as those in India sang and danced all day and drank their fill at night as cool air brushed past silken curtains supported by marble pillars astride polished stone walkways.
My goal has always been to teach correct academic English that draws from all English groups: USA, UK, Union of South Africa, and so forth. My goal has always been that the individual student would benefit from the entire plethora of English phraseology. As a philologist, I wanted words used correctly. I thought there were others like me. I went in search of them.
I was especially startled when I spoke with members of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) in Perú who spoke street English. One TESOL teacher told me to “take a chair” when I entered her office. When I picked it up and carried it from the room the teacher was livid and barked out a question on how I could dare perform such an action. I shrugged, and then gently reminded her that she told me to “take a chair”—and take (in both Castellaño Spanish and English) means “to carry”.
Politely I tried to refresh her memory by stating that she did not ask me to “sit down” and wait until she finished her conversation on the telephone. At that point she shreiked, “I wanna do this clear: you are to give English courses”. At that point I laughed so hard (knowing that I would never affiliate with a school where she was employed) that she became more hostile and warned “Iza gonna hit you hard if you put this in my face”. Nearly spitting, she informed me that she had graduated from “a top university in the US”. Gasping for breath, she asked me “why you trouble me, so?”
Dutifully I responded. As carefully as I could I worded my comments, mentioning that there are no legitimate words such as “wanna” “iza” “gonna” or even “US” in any competent dictionary. I noted that US was not the USA, as there are other United States: as is the case with the United States of Brasil [the correct spelling”] as well as United States of Mexico (it has 31 states) and various other countries that consider and style themselves as united states. I made no mention of my own education even though my schools rank in the top ten—her university is in the lower 40s according to the evaluation published by Business Week.
I never did determine what I was “put[ting] in her face.” I am totally inadequate with slang, and cannot comprehend gutter-speech. Unfortunately the other TESOL teachers whom I visited with at different times for various reasons did not reassure me of quality of a TESOL education. TESOL—it seemed too much like the rank rawness of the IB Programme. TESOL, like TOEFL, is a certificate awarded when a student passes an exam. Neither TESOL or TOEFL are degrees, as is a BA, MA, PhD, and so forth.
I helped an American woman who had a BA and a TOEFL to initiate an MA program at a national university in one of Perú’s provinces. We were to be a committee of three, but the third person, a man who also had a bachelor’s degree—although he always styled himself as “Doctor”–came only to the first and last meeting. He was concerned about his job as there was one more upheavel feared in the administration of the Language Department.
The National Univeristies of Perú have frequent administrator shifts. They are all based on politics, and the national university where I taught the students ruled the teachers, demanding less homework, easier grading, and giving a “point-by-point” address that they could write down and use in their own careers. I have never agreed with that ideology or pedagogy, and did not follow student rule during my first semester.
My career at the National University came to an end abruptly when my students denounced me as incompetent, trying to sell my own books: I wrote the only book that I know of on the subject that the class was focused on, and brought copies of it from the USA and told the students where they could buy the books at S/.25 — if they wanted the book (you cannot buy originally published book in Perú for S/.25 = $8). The students complained that they had paid the national university $/.40 soles for materials and thus the book should be for free–even though I would not see the S/.25. There final complaint was that I was not teaching the subject–a subject field I had created.
It was a pleasure to leave the university, especially following my “exit interview with the director of the language program in English who could not speak one word of English, necessitating that we have a student translate for us. When he made mention that the university might call me back for a course, I did muster courage not to laugh but to to say “buena suerte”.
I left with no regrets. I reasoned it was better not to teach than to teach that which is incorrect or caters to ignorance of which there is a bountiful supply in Perú schools and universities. There is no way I would ever teach at that university again.
Judgments or assessments, that I have had to make over my too-long of a career have been made based on test (oral and written) grades, participation, and basic academic standards: readings assigned were to be completed, papers required were written and not copied from Wikipedia, analyses were to be made and reasoning given, and so forth. Outside of Mrs. M, who was certainly the best student in the class and would have received a magnum cum laude with any certificate (it would have been higher, but she was troubled with numerous cellular calls, was called out of class by students and even one professor who felt that the professor’s class was more important). Mrs. M exuded polish, poise and handled all emergencies even noting that she was being denied the opportunity to rank at the top with a full twenty points. Mr. D (I do wish he would have used his full name as is the custom in Perú as any quality education requires that the student adheres to the customs of the host nation and uses titles and names accordingly; I have added my mother’s surname following that of my father’s surname on Perú publications and in my classroom).
Mr. D did well: he wrote clearly, addressed issues punctually, patiently and professionally, was not afraid to question me or call me out on an issue that he found in his textbooks. He listened attentively, helped peers when queried, and provided humor during rather dry periods of presentation. Mr. D scored high and would be entitled to a cum laude recognition.
It is impossible to make any judgment on the rest of the class. No one other than Mrs. M and Mr. D participated to any level that raised their score. Of the students who did poorly (to be as generous as possible), I would urge each to accept some form of academic counseling or allow me to help them privately without charge. My offer was received negatively. No one wished the extra effort by a “co-teacher” and “especially not during vacation”.
My greatest disappointment came when I would repeatedly be forced by my own academic standards to remind Ms. S that the Grammar course was an English course and all communications (written and verbal) had to be in English. She was not alone in speaking Spanish in an English class. Even during the final, these students insisted on speaking Castellaño with me.
To illustrate my thesis, I prepared the following graphs and charts on Excel to detail the realities of the class. I have kept every paper written. I have marks on each student’s participation. These I presented to the Directora, and now to the Academic Dean in this letter.
Analysis of Results: The following analytic table shows that the highest score was earned by Mrs. M with 18.13. This was followed by Mr. D who merited a score of 18.00. The student body of 12, who participated in the course, had 50% who successfully complete the course (based on XXXXX standards). The other 50% did not pass. Ms. N scored the lowest with 1.25.
Universidad XXXX requires that test grades be rounded up once a grade is at .50. The negative effects of grade rounding have been documented by numerous educators, psychologists and scientists (read here and here). Grade rounding promotes a psychologically unhealthy look at the value of serious work and scholarship. Students whose grades are rounded up waste time. They generally fail in real-life skills. The red line (above) show which students passed based on skill.
Attendance and participation were markedly weak. Most points were lost because of no attendance or very little, and in most cases participation did exist with the majority of the students, as seen in this graph:
Frustration with these results was overwhelming. My faculty-students were no better, and some were worse, than my matriculating students ages 17 to 21. When teaching students who had not yet earned a degree, most of my students would tell me that going to discotheques (some within .5 km of a school or university, a few next door to an educational center uniquely styled a university) drinking beer and having sex is more important than learning. I became use to students asking for the minimum grade to pass the course, and when I failed any one of them (I once failed an entire class at one of the most expensive private universities before resigning my position at that university) I was stalked, threatened (physically and sexually, the latter I found unusual as I am an old man), and publicly cursed on the street and get threatening e-mail from young females who failed my course.
Teachers, in general, tell me that what is important is to get paid and make parents, families, and churches happy with the student getting a degree that is not merited but could win for the applicant a job that the individual could not handle and would ultimately leave to drive a Tico. Competent administrators support quality in education and demand expertise in a teacher’s knowledge of subject matter and fairness in grading. This, tragically, is not universally respected nor is it required everywhere in Perú.
Most damning of the Perú education system is there is little subject matter expertise, and what exists is in short supply and short lived as once a faculty member has what is considered a permanent position, the teacher stops reading, researching, rethinking, and writing. It is as if the teacher died: breathing out old comments read from withering aged yellow notes, or plugging in a projector to read PowerPoint presentations to students sleeping at their desks. No student challenges the teacher as if the teacher were a god or pope, and all I have queried have attested that they have been told since kindergarten that you neither defy nor interrupt a teacher.
I have listened to those who are acclaimed to be medical doctors tell patients that drinking cold water is bad for one’s health: leading to colds, indigestion, and influenza. I have become weary listening to males state that a female is not a woman until she has had a baby (and stating that the function of a woman is to have sex with a man). Sex is seen as obligatory made imperative through peer pressure in most Perú schools by the time the girl is eleven, and as one of my teacher-students wrote in his essay, even at the age of ten; the entire scope of human sexuality is not known, and religion in Perú forbids birth control so that it is not rare to see a pre-teenage girl pregnant and frequently married to a pre-teenage boy.
Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru) was the youngest girl to become pregnant at the age of five; the parents and local doctor thought she had a tumor, and only by consulting other “specialists” realize that she was 7.5 months pregnant. Her son weighed six pounds at birth. Today she is 78 years-old. This is especially true in in Roman Catholic and evangelical protestant schools, but is rising rapidly in the public school system.
Civil engineers work in groups so that ten can watch one of the team dig a hole that has no circumvention. I learned the hard way how unfortunate the architectural engineering schools were in the provinces, as although I had blue print for my new home, the “architectural engineer” used no basic tools in laying out the perimeters for constructing the edifice. In my home there is not a single square room; the builders went by eye-sight (my kitchen is almost a trapezoid). The tiles on the floor show that each room is unique: there is no square, no triangle, no recognizable shape—it is like living as a character in Alice in Wonderland—yet the architectural engineer who assembled my home from bricks and motar, slopped down tiles was as accomplished as the carpenter where no window closes, gaps between the window and sill is so great the flies and crickets can enter withut difficulty and both men are lauded as being among the finest in Perú.
What solutions exist to solve the growing problems in Perú’s educational decline?
First, teachers must be subject-matter experts. Students are not inspired by teachers who read a book (I wish it were in the plural) at them. A subject-matter expert is not a facilitator. A facilitator is a person responsible for leading or coordinating the work of a group, as one who leads a group discussion and is not expected to have a wide or encompassing range of knowledge: a subject-matter expert does, and is the accomplished specialist or authority in a field who sits in a chair of knowledge as one proven to be brilliant, such as Stephen Hawking the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Students deserve nothing less than the best—not a token of knowledge and understanding.
Second, teacher must teach, and not depend on games, whistles, and bells—and definitely not on PowerPoint presentations of material plagiarized from Wikipedia. When I decided to continue my teaching appointment, it came when my Academic Dean told a troop of frustrated teachers who could not find overheads and computers that in the past teachers used chalk on blackboards. I remember those days, and I taught without notes and wrote key words on blackboards with white chalk.
Teachers must teach as if there is no electricity, no magic markers, and no mechanical or artificial aids. Those alleged educators who do not know their subject field must not teach–as it takes no less than twice the time to unlearn bad education and to study subjections seriously the first time and master content.
Far more damaging is the misuse of the computer and the slavish devotion to Google interpretation software. For example, I received this note: (asi sea un minuto que tenga libre quiero estar con usted) that Google mistranslated as (so for a minute you have a clear wanna be with you). A teacher imparts knowledge or skill to others, as did Socrates and Christopher Hitchins or Richard Dawkins. They know the past, interpret the past according to the epoch in which something occurred, but they are able to relate it to the present and see beyond the parochial narrowness of established doctrines and designs. There is no acceptable word “wanna” as that is vulgar English: idiom of the alleys used by thugs, thieves and punks. (Qiero is correctly translated as I want to). I find it only in McGraw-Hill’s fourth edition of Spears, Richard A. (2007) Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions.
Without emotion or regret, I fail all papers that use street terms, including izza (it is a), gonna (going to), et cetera. It is not vindictiveness nor is it vengeance. If a word is temporary, those who come across it a generation from now will not understand its meaning. Thus “gay” today means “homosexual” but “homosexual” was not a word until it was inventedin 1892, when it appeared in C.G. Chaddock’s translation of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis. Gay
meant “happy” or “brilliantly colored”. A “merry gentleman” was benevolent–not fat but a man concerned with others and tries his best to raise for them some money for food and drink (as so beautifully described by Charles Dickens in his Christmas Carol) and bring mirth and music into an impoverished world.
Third, students must take responsibility for their education (read here and here). Students must be challenged and required to substantiate claims (read here and here and here). They must question all things, as Socrates spoke so eloquently (Plato, Apology 37e-38a), and ask questions of themselves, their peers, and most of all—of their teachers.
There is never a time when students should blindly accept what any teacher says without questioning (that was considered de rigueur from the days of psychical petrifaction of the mind with the alleged writings of Augustine of Hippo who loved the ladies and had a bastard he named Gift of the Gods (Adeodatus) through the dark damaged days of the Ox Aquinas who found misery to be satisfying as if he were an Albanian nun living sadistically in India, through the torturous trampling of Torquemada and into the nineteenth century), and no teacher should ever allow a student answer to be a single word: “yes” (or) “no”.
Instead of single word (there are no one-word “sentences” as by definition a sentence must have one noun and one verb) the student must detail the reason for the affirmation or negation, must offer concrete examples, and to reject the mythology of any one source or any one person being infallible on any point within the pursuit of inquiry. For over fifty years, I remind my students, daily, that all sentences must have at least one noun plus one verb; a “yes” or “no” does not qualify as a sentence, and it does not reflect knowledge or rejoinder to a question. The highlight of my life occurred when I was in England and enjoyed the tutorship of the world’s leading Cistercian scholar told me to prove him wrong. I did.
Mystified at my early ignorance the more I studied, I learnt that a learned scholar holds nothing sacred–there is nothing sacred–as the true scholar is married to the conduct of inquiry where there are no borders nor boundaries from which the learned person can dig, unbury, and bring into the light of knowledge that which was rejected or destroyed centuries ago, as when Constantine inanely and stupidly burned the works of Arius and other “heretics” and “apostates” in a frightening way to protect his own creation: a “catholic [universal] church” that he created in 325 CE at his Council of Nicea fashioning out the Jesus he sought with the advise both accepted and rejected by various groups from Sabellians to Montanists, Arians to numerous
others, from the early days of chrestianos and christianos who lived in catacombs and burned what they considered to be pagan scrolls–but their actions were but a forerunner for other atrocities committed in the name of a god throughout history: from the attacks on librarians and the burning of libraries(such as at Alexandria, Egypt where Hypatia was martyred: the skin of her back torn out by the nails of Coptic monks who threw her living body on a bonfire of rare manuscripts) to the purge of Greek philosophers and their works on hydraulics (Archimedes) to irrigation, planting, crop rotation, medicine, birth control and other sciences that would not return to Europe until the time of Leonardo Da Vinci who not only drew the
plans for an “air ship” but even for a self-propelled automobile. That the work of late medieval scientists survived and the classics were protected did not come from the charity or safeguarding by the Roman Catholic Church, but instead were rescued by Moors, Arabs, and Muslims who lived in
Europe from 400-1500 CE. When Roman Catholic priests and bishops were not burning books, the early protesters who became Protestants with the rise of Martin Luther, took over and added Roman Catholic studies and tracts to their bonfires of the vanities. The burning of tracts written by those who dissented from the ravages of wisdom by single-minded monsters from Martin Luther and John Calvin to John Knox and to the evangelicals in Lima in 2008 destroying Roman Catholic prayer books and missals, to the evangelical communities in the USA and UK burning the Harry
Potter books by J. K. Rawlings (claiming that they were about witches and spells and instruments of their imaginary devil; the congregation of the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo in southern New Mexico heard an anti-Harry Potter sermon in which Pastor Jack Brock claimed the character taught children to take up wizardry), and Protestant pastors burning Korans in Florida, led by evangelical Terry Jones of September 11, 2011, to USA military incinerating the Muslim biblein 2012.
These were no less great than the mutiliation of thought under the Nazis of the Third Reich, with the blessings of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Protestant clergy, who allowed German students to burned books on May 10, 1933, on university campus. Those volumes cast into flames were devoted to science,
philosophy, literature, and sexual therapy studies: especially those written by Jews and the “Godless Jew” Sigmund Freud with the aim of increasing German nationalism and a war to take control over the planet. In Berlin, the German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels gave a speech to the students, declaring:
“The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path…The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you. As a young person, to already have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death, and to regain respect for death – this is the task of this young generation. And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. This is a strong, great and symbolic deed – a deed which should document the following for the world to know – Here the intellectual foundation of the November (Democratic) Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise…”
From this the world would learn the truth of “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen”: Where they burn books, in time, they will also burn people. It did not start with the Nazis, however, but was a part of the culture of the USA where purity crusades were determined to dumb down education and approve only select subjects. People were denied freedom to read, and the government of the USA became as draconian as the Roman Catholic Church in establishing censorship laws, outlawing specific books and writers–a virus that multiplied for decades and grew catastrophically under the misrule of Congress led by US Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI), a Roman Catholic, and Richard Milhouse Nixon (R-CA) technically a Quaker. The greatest blow for justice came that momentous
Fourth, students must be taught to understand that just because something is in a book or it is stated as fact by a teacher, preacher, priest or administrator does not mean it is true (for example, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Munificentissimus Deusas an attestation of the assumption of the mother of Jesus body and soul into heaven, matching directly the theology of ancient
Egypt where Isis rose from the sea and soared into the heavens to wear the stars in her hair while the moon was at her feet (cp. Herodotus, Historia 2: 42, 156). Scholars know that no single book contains all knowledge, and no one can use a book to prove the veracity of the book’s contents.
Fifth, true learners discard the myth that any one person is infallible on any thing (infallibility is derived from the pseudo-Siricus’ law c. 385 CE, a bishop of Rome (there were no bishops in Rome before the third century as even the Catholic Encyclopedia details) resurrected in 1139 CE, and moved forward by those gold-seeking pontiffs who wanted to enrich the church by limiting academic growth and questioning church decided “true facts” (a redundancy in itself). Facts are theories: they must be continuously reassessed, reviewed, reinvestigated, and reproved—infinitely. Fact is not faith (faith cannot be proven as it is a private matter and as such has no place in the academic world and the conduct of inquiry).
Sixth, scholars show that nothing is certain. As the ancient Greeks knew, “Everything changes but change itself: Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535 – c. 475 BCE).” Euripides (ca. 480 – 406 BC) wrote: Question everything. It is by questioning the individual learns as there is nothing sacred that cannot be questioned (originally phrased by Socrates, defined by Plato, and refined by American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882).
Seventh, all teachers and students must be tested. Schools must be evaluated and accredited. Testing and accreditation should be yearly. In Perú this has been extraordinarily rare, with the teacher’s union SUTEP (composed of the least-learned teachers in Perú) fighting it vigilantly and violently on the streets of Lima and other testing centers. The end results were shocking, with most reports noting that out of the 180,000 – 185,000 teachers who took the most basic of exams determining primary competence and literacy, only 151 passed. Because of the interference of religious-based ignorance, science has become as backward as that in Louisiana and espoused by Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) who is running to be president of the USA (read here and here). It should be noted that in the USA nearly 75% of all GOP USA Senators do not believe in evolution or science.
Eighth, when it comes to hiring a teacher in any subject area, those in charge of filling academic appointments must look beyond the degree. Competency requires knowledge about the school and its faculty and their academic production and scholarship from where a degree. Of even greater importance are the credentials of the individual professors who taught the applicant and his or her own educational and academic progression of the teacher. There are no standard competency tests for teachers. Provided that the teacher passes at least half of his or her class, he or she will be invited to teach another cycle, as most schools (especially those that are private and for profit) keep faculty
that brings in revenue so that the owners of the schools, which now actually attempt to entice parents to enroll their children by dropping the Spanish colegio (school) for the English word college even for kindergarten and
primary/secondary centers. The true definition of a college is “an institution of higher learning, especially one providing a general or liberal arts education rather than technical or professional training” or “a constituent unit of a university, furnishing courses of instruction in the liberal arts and sciences, usually leading to a bachelor’s degree.” When one is done with college education, that individual moves up to the university and advanced education leading to a master or doctoral degree. Education does not stop when the diploma is proffered. Education is a never-ending journey that continues and does not stop until the learner is dead. The acquisition of knowledge is judged by the educator’s research and writing skills that must undergo peer review and be accepted for publication in a sound academic journal or by a scholarly press.
Cambridge University in the UK was once a credible institution of higher learning and not for more than four hundred years given to fantasy. In the twentieth century it has graduated those who mastered tricks to take degrees and then reject current research and publications in quest of elevating fantasies to facts while pushing sectarian superstitions. This is graphically seen with Stephen C. Meyer. Meyer took a PhD in “science” (it is actually a degree in the philosophy and history of science) from the celebrated university that had on its faculty such luminaries as Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. His books against Darwinism are published by the Roman Catholic press Ignatius and have nothing of science about them, but a repeat in new words the myths of the Judaeo-Christian Bible.
Meyer, like most imposters, has a self-written and promoted page on Creationwiki that allows for no responses nor does it give any criticism by any authority against creationism/Intelligent Design (read here and here). Meyer has had only one essay published by a reputable, peer review journal: Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, but its own editor believes that its entry had a dubious origin as it does not fit the rigors of scholarly inquiry, and was paid to be included by Richard Sternberg who is one of the one hundred signatories who endorsed ID. Meyer’s stand, saturated with misleading scientific citations more in keeping with a desperate freshman than a Cambridge PhD, is extraordinarily popular with the pseudo scholar Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne (whose two doctorates are (1) theology, and (2) philosophy, and has no science or embryological study background) and other conservative bishops in the Roman Catholic Church who either never had a course in science or has rejected it as being unbiblical (Meyer’s photograph is opposite that of Benedict XVI).
Meyer quickly gave his degree the lie and now teaches creationism under the disguise of Intelligent Design. He has a video produced by the Chuck Colson Institute for Christian Values. Meyer uses any podium to propagandize a mythology debunked centuries ago, yet has marshaled an army to ensure that it enters public and private school curriculum—especially in educationally weak states where ignorance is celebrated in “tail-gating” parties pushed pedantically by parents in quest of watching a football game rather than enriching their minds and those of their children with serious discussion. This downgrading of education is especially true in such illiterate states as Texas (which has the rare exception of Rice University) where the public schools are more of breeding grounds for unwanted babies and ignorance, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi—and now finds Perú ripe for the misrepresentation that is patulously permeating through the pathosis of Opus Dei.
As unsavory as is Meyer is David Barton is more strange, bizarre, mentally unbalanced and unlearned. Barton delights in carrying large stacks of books that he has never read. He rules on textbooks in Texas as an “historian” but has no authentic historical education (he did not go to any reputable college). The Texas School Board of Education chaired by Governor Rick Perry’s “right hand” (Gail Lowe) loves Barton, as “he is pure Texans” and without a clue. Barton, like Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Sarah Palin (R-AK) transmogrify facts fancifully in revisions of reality, as when they claim that (1) all USA founding fathers were Christians (only five claimed that distinction), or (2) that the Blacks of the eighteenth and nineteenth century were better off as slaves than they are today.
Barton deliberately invents history to conform to his ontology and revisionist agenda that the Texas Board of Education is to undereducated/uneducated (or plain unintelligent) to know is false. His poorly written “histories” have no legitimate citations, and Barton cannot even note or quote any reputable historian with even marginal accuracy. It is not at all surprisingly that even on his website Barton cannot confirm his authorities or citations. He admits as much—much like most of the professors that mutilate education in Perú today—especially in parochial institutions where they hold themselves as authorities—but are totally illiterate in their subject matter field.
While pretending to be a historian, Barton waltzes into science debates and claims that the discussion of creationism and Darwinism is destroying civilization today and leads to its ultimate death. Today, these political leaders are in the advance of the warriors attacking global warming as a myth, decry science (73% of the GOP US Congress does not believe in evolution; read here and here), and think that a corporation is a person, and that a fertilized ova is a
baby at the moment that the sperm enters the egg. One Oklahoma legislator, Constance Johnson, who had enough of the arrogance and ignorance of the males in the legislature arguing that they were the only ones to decide what any woman could do with her body–as if they were god and judge–became so enraged that she boldly scribbled by hand an amendment to be added to the proposed misogynistic legislation on “personhood”. Ms. Johnson wrote quickly, clearly, and then with steel resolve dropped her proposd amendment into the legislative file to be considered and voted on. What made Ms. Johnson’s proposed amendment startling and gaining for it and its author worldwide attention, was that the proposed amendment declared that every sperm cell a baby–and to release the semen without the intent to procreate a life would be tantamount to murder. Thus masturbation was a crime of mass murder.
The proposed amendment, she later admitted, was deliberately written to show the stupidity of the embryo law passed in the Oklahoma Senate). Perú is not immune from this chicanery and fatuous puerility where legislatures and leaders of communities expose their ignorance and contempt for people they feel are inferior to themselves and need, especially, a man’s hand to direct “the little ladies” to the path that the women are expected to walk. This is especially true in religious schools at all levels where stagnation adles minds and makes scholarship a joke. This is best seen in the tautological pronouncement of the bishop of Lambayeque, Jesús Moliné Labarte who succeeded Ignacio María de Orbegozo y Goicoechea (founder of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo Catholic University: USAT one of many schools in Perú where free inquiry and debate is discouraged, and Opus Dei theology pushed in all academic fields) one year and two months after the Spanish born Orbegozo y Goicoechea, a priest of Opus Dei since 1951 died.
Labarte’s minimal intellectual prowes are common knowledge but he is entertaining for he sounds like and parades himself to be the equal of Darth Vadar, speaking out on topics he has never studied nor understands, and has won the enmity of Cipriani Thorne who sees him as an enemy of himself and Opus Dei. Since 1997, the venom of Cipriani Thorne has been spat at the Perú College of Bishops, as Cipriani Thorne is determined that he will preside over all aspects of every individual’s life in Perú.
Lambarte is not the only “fool for Christ” (1 Corinthian 4:10 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 – 4:8-13). Most professors at Roman Catholic (and some evangelical) universities who have adopted Opus Dei rules and regulations, have surrendered their own reasoning power and follow the words of a man who would beat himself with a whip until his bathroom was turned red with his own blood (read here and here and here and here where John Paul II would follow the example set by Escrivá who would whip himself at least one thousand times–a sign of severe sexual sublimation and sadomasochistic psychotic schizophrenia as a means of self-abasement and self-punishment or self-humiliation; it does not reflect humility but is seen as an act by people who abuse themselves while suffering severe mental problems), are under the hypnotic trance of Escrivá that they cannot think independently, but refer back to Escrivá’s tome The Way for “spiritual guidance.” What most members of Opus Dei do not know or refuse to understand is that this form of self-whipping is actually a part of a pagan pre-Christian Roman cult known as the Lupercalia when naked young men ran through the streets with thongs cut from the hide of goats that had just been sacrificed so that women who wished to conceive could put themselves in their way to receive blows (usually upon their hands) as a means to entice the goddess of fertility (Cybele, who was originally known as Bona Dea; her theology developed from Anatolia) to make them ovulate and conceive. The goddess of childbirth and safe delivery is Candelifer.
Eunuch priests of the goddess Cybele, known as the galli (from this word we get the word Galatians, which means “castrated priests” thus the Letter to the Galatians was to a group of castrated men–not to a city–who lived near the river Gallus that was believed effective in curing mental illnesses), flogged themselves until they bled during the annual festival called Dies sanguinis (days of blood), while in Greco-Roman mystery religions required at times ritual flagellation before their congregations as a testimony to faith and to appease any one of their crucified saviours who hungered for human blood that was considered to be the elixir of life. It is depicted in the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii, apparently showing initiation into the Dionysian Mysteries.
Once Constantine I established the catholic church in 325 CE, these rituals were incorporated into rituals known as the “Passion of Christ” but the writing of whippings were later editions to the gospel narratives; the original texts were focused on the spiritual mortification of the flesh through fasting. The concept did not become radicalized until the thirteenth century, when monks were the first to fester their flesh with whippings by various corded instruments made of animal skin to boards dotted with metal pieces. It is from this collective lunacy that Opus Dei brought the mentally unbalanced practice to the forefront of Roman Catholicism.
A Roman Catholic priest who teaches Christology at a provincial university uses Mel Gibson’s pulp-fiction “The Passion of Christ” that has little in common with any version of the Gospel by any group but was the written expression of the mentally illness and halucinations of the disturbed German nun Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824; cf. Ide, Arthur Frederick (2004). Crucifixion: What the Bible Really Says. Chicago, IL, USA: Sepore) and sings the praises of Opus Dei to keep his job. Emmerich’s writings were embellished by the now discredited Clemens Bretano (the fraud is the subject of Winfried Hümpfner (1923), Clemens Brentanos Glaubwürdigkeit in seinen Emmerick-Aufzeichnungen; Untersuchung über die Brentano-Emmerick-frage unter erstmaliger Benutzung der tagebücher Brentanos Würzburg, St. Rita-verlag und -druckere; cp. Suzanne Stahl, “Between God and Gibson: German Mystical and Romantic Sources of ‘The Passion of the Christ’”, The German Quarterly Vol. 78, No. 4, Fall, 2005). Even the Vatican under enfeebled and Parkinson’s Disease suffering John Paul II stated that the writings historicity cannot be proven, but acclaimed the celebration of the nun’s religiosity–a religiosity that bordered on insanity.
While sociology is the study of the origin, development, organization and functioning of human society, another professor at a private university requires readings of religious fiction. The professor feasts on one Mexican author who is referred to, popularly, as a comic and defines the science as a study of God’s plan for the world. (The “professor” is Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, who is described as “a fraud, a plagiarist, and an opportunist” by The Chronicle of Higher Education). The “professor” is a member of Opus Dei, and is considered “an imposter”. He is styled “a writer of fiction” and has been exposed on YouTube, and is exposed elsewhere. Sanchez’ book A Desperate Cry (paperback, 1997) has been judged as “having no literary merit” “the worst” and ”a fake trashy novel” that people should avoid wasting money on. Sanchez’ entry in Wikipedia is self-written (using Google translator) as are the references to his works with Wikipedia issuing a warning that the writing does not meet Wikipedia standards. There is no mention made in the Perú provincial professor’s syllabus or lectures during a short four week course of such luminaries as Andrew Abbott (USA), Jane Addams (USA), Francesco Alberoni (Italy), Alwardi Ali (Iraq), Stanislav Andreski (Poland), Aaron Antonovsky (Israel), Anne Barges (France), Gregory Bateson (UK), Ulrich Beck (Germany), Walden Bello (Philippines), Mohamed Cherkaoui (Morocco), Manuel De Landa (Mexico), Georgi Dimitrov Dimitrov (Bulgaria), Jose Mauricio Domingues (Brasil), or others. Sadly, he ignores the limited contributions of his own peers, and sets himself up as being the great determiner. Students learn nothing about aboriginal or exogamous life, gangs or ghettos. The professor is a thief of students time, money, and learning, yet is free to roam the campus and spew nonsense and ignorance under the stained mantle of academe that he has self-appropriated.
Perú law states that to teach at the university level, the teacher must have at least one Master degree—yet few possess more than a Licentiate (to teach in a primary or secondary school a bachelor degree is required). A genuine doctoral degree is rare (and the few dissertations that I have read would qualify at best for a high school term paper with a few rare ones weighing in at the master level). Teachers are self-styled doctors (a term commonly used for lawyers, but now can be for any degree specialty) on their curriculum vitae and by feign-praising students seeking to ingratiate themselves with the teacher (I had one student write, angrily, that he would rather be loved as a “friend” than to be known as an educated man who could disseminate knowledge). This has to change—now. The longer the wait (poco a poco) the less value Perú has in the world and the more its wealth will be taken by those who will offer a few dollars for thousands of dollars of goods, natural resources, and artifacts. Science and economics have by-passed Perú as RPP notes. Unless the change is now, there will be no Perú tomorrow.
Ninth, Perú needs more funding. While the government of Perú spends only 3% of its GNP on education, placing it the rank of 107 in the world, Bolivia spends 6.3% and is 25 in the world ranking (the USA spends 5.7% and the UK spends 5.3%). Perú excelled when Antonio Chang was Minister of Education under Alan Garcia Perez, but has fallen dramatically under the Humala presidency with SUTEP, a thoroughly corrupt union that protects the incompetent and does not demand its members be subject matter experts member Patricia Salas O’Brienwho claims to be a sociologist. Salas O’Brien
wants to change the history textbooks—but with no promise that they will be objective, honest, factual—by adding, by 2013, a section on the Truth Commission (video is here); most likely when the books are reworked for a person in power, they will become a rehash of sectarian and special interest propaganda to delight the one Congresista who has little interest in the poor, the rural, and illiterate to barely-illiterate: Martha Chavez. It will be nearly impossible for Perú to ever win international accreditation—but Perú education can be purchased. Salas O’Brien’s plan is ambitious (see video here), and if it works it will succeed only if vested interests intent on keep the conduct of inquiry suppressed are silenced and reminded that education is for students and educators–not for religious groups nor for industries that hold sway and define learning in a way that will further limit the future generations’ ability to make choices and enter a new life.
Tenth, it is past time to remove the influence of sectarian theology and churches from academic institutions. Academic studies require a critical appraisal of facts. Religion relies on a belief structure that cannot be scientifically proven. Too many students spend too much time in prayers and not enough time studying books and other records, doing analytical comparison, writing critiques and judgments, or questioning source material. Scholarship is a science—not a faith.
The one university of higher learning in Perú that has reached world acclaim and attention is the Catholic Pontifical University in Lima, but with its acceleration towards objectivity, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, an Opus Dei cardinal and the son of two supernummaries (supernummaries compose 70% of the clandestine organization: the article has been reprinted numerous times on numerous blogs) cardinal-archbishop of Lima, who is struggling to force the university, faculty and students under the iron fist of Opus Dei. While popular with predatory popes and cardinals, and with 52% of the poor of Perú, Cipriani Thorne lost four times an election to head the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP). In September 2011, the university rightfully rejected a request by the Vatican to bring its statutes in line with the apostolic exhortation Ex Corde Ecclesiae or risk losing its status as a Catholic and pontifical institution. This taut theological terrorist attack was rejected by the university who saw it as Cipriani’s way to force Opus Dei into the university and run a one-time highly respectable university so that Opus Dei can destroy the Pontifical’s credibility and worldview (read here and here).
On September 20th the the courageous and democracy prone President of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, Marcial Rubio, the Research Vice-President, Pepi Patrón, and Legal advisor, Francisco Eguiguren, on behalf of a group of university authorities, faculty and student representatives, filed a petition before the IACHR claiming that the Constitutional Court of Peru has violated provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights and the Protocol of San Salvador, and the rules of due process in a March 2010 resolution (03347-2009-PA/TC) published a month later. The University filed an amparo petition before the Constitutional Court seeking protection against the threat to its autonomy and property rights posed by the Archbishop of Lima through his appointee, Mr. Walter Muñoz-Cho. The amparo petition noted that: The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, is a leading member of Opus Dei, who vocally opposes PUCP’s autonomy. Peru’s Constitutional Court ruled against the University petition and distorted the amparo claim by introducing wrongful considerations regarding autonomy, property and even the nature of the relations between PUCP and the Archbishop of Lima. This resolution affects the individual rights of the members of the entire PUCP community. It threatens rights as freedom of association, and freedom of thought and expression, enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights. It also undermines the right to education, as defined in Article 13° of the Additional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights especially clauses relating to the relationship between education and effective participation in a pluralistic democratic society and promoting tolerance, the right to freely choose the type of education to receive and the right to establish and direct educational institutions under the laws in force.
Attempting to throw its theological threats around, the Vatican ordered the rector of the Pontifical University to “visit Rome”.
On October 24, 2011, according to the newspaper La Republica, Martin Mejorada, the legal representative of the Pontifical university said, “[i]n no way will we accept any imposition made by Cardinal Erdo. We are governed solely by Peruvian law”. Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne called in Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary to threaten the university with a loss of its pontifical status since he was denied a seat on its board of directors. The university, courageously and forcefully said ”No!” out of concern for Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne’s Opus Dei views and membership as the Vatican makes the unfounded claim that the university is its property (in keeping with the medieval mortmain of absolute control and the rejection of human rights destroyed by the favorites of the popes and bought cardinaltes (“the red hat”) for their small children. Among these recipients was the most notorious of the teenage cardinals: Guize de Lorraine, known as Louis I de (1527-1578). Guize de Lorraine was born October 21, 1527, made a bishop of Troyes (constituted a an administrator because he was not 27) before his 18th birthday on May 11, 1545, and was the nephew of Cardinal Jean de Lorraine (1518), and a brother of Cardinal Charles I de Guise de Lorraine (1547) whose scandalous life even surprised the French. He was the uncle of Cardinal Louis II de Guise (1578), and grand-uncle of Cardinal Louis III de Guise (1615) before having an illigetimate daughter named Anne de Arne; cf. Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 335-336; Chacón, Alfonso (1630). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1601; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 33, 71, 101, 242, 298 and 317; Fisquet, Honoré-Jean-Pierre (1864-1873). La France pontificale (Gallia Christiane); histoire chronologique et biographique des archevêques et évêques de tous les diocèses de France depuis l’établissement du Christianisme jusqu’à nos jours, divisée en 18 provinces ecclésiastiques. 2nd ed. 21 vols. Paris : E. Repos, vol. 19. “Sens et Auxerre”, 123-125; Gams, Pius Bonifatius (1957). Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, p. 293.
Officially, the youngest cardinal was only twelve years of age when the red hat was placed on his head–a head to small to keep the hat in place. The new cardinal was Robert de Nobili (1541-1559), the son of Vincenzo de’ Nobili, count of Civitella, and Maddalena Barbolani, of the counts of Montatoobili. Great-nephew of Pope Julius III (who made him a cardinal at age 12) in exchange for gold. Julius III was a “brother” on his mother’s side. Robert had an Uncle [more like a brother] Cardinal Francesco Sforza (1583). Robert, who openly admitted he entered the church “to become rich” participated in the first conclave of 1555, which elected Pope Marcellus II, and participated in the second conclave of 1555 that elected the thoroughly corrupt Pope Paul IV. Read Burkle-Young, Francis A. and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer (1997). The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte : a scandal in scarlet ; together with materials for a history of the House of Ciocchi del Monte San Savino. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1997. (Renaissance studies, v. 2), pp. 110-116; Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 332-335; Chacón, Alfonso (1630). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1601-1603; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 33 and 74. That Robert was the youngest cardinal in the Renaissance / Counter Reformation Roman Catholic Church is in dispute, however, with evidence emerging that there was at least one younger cardinal. He should not be confused with another Robert de Nobili who was a Jesuit who went as an unwelcomed missionary to Southern India, for he was born in 1577. He alienated the Vatican through a policy he styled as accommodatio: adopting local customs and practices that he did not believe contradicted established Roman Catholic rituals and beliefs.
According to Burkle-Young, The life of Cardinal Innocenzo [Giocchi] del Monte, p. 111, argues that Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, son of King Felipe V of Spain, who was seven years old when he was the youngest cardinal ever created until December 19, 1735, by Pope Clement XII. The cardinal’s hate was assured after the pope made the child perpetual administrator of the temporal matters of the archdiocese of Toledo on November 10, 1735. He was not required and never took any “sacred orders” and was never a priest. He resigned his cardinalate because of his “strong sexual urges” in a private and secret consistory with Benedict XIV on December 18, 1754. Read: Cardella, Lorenzo (1794). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, VIII, 276-277; González, R. “Borbón, Luis Antonio Jaime de.” Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España. 4 vols and Supplement. Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975; Suplemento (1987), I, 274; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis “Il Messaggero di S. Antonio” apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. ; Tovar Martín, Virginia. “Ventura y desventura de Don Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, hermano de Carlos III.” Reales Sitios: Revista del Patrimonio Nacional, 101 (1989), 32-44.
Innocenzo Giocchi del Monte became cardinal at age 17, his own past sullied by numerous sexual “indescretions”: he was the son of a female beggar, was an illiterate but vivacious and good-looking 14 year old when he was picked up on the streets of Parma by Cardinal Giovanni Maria Del Monte (Pope Julius III who turned the Vatican into a homosexual stable and issued a papal bull declaring Innocenzo legitimate so that he could stay in the papal apartment. The pope named Innocenzo “Cardinal Nephew”, effectively in charge of all papal correspondence, even though the “body of a god” the youth’s nickname, was barely literate and had difficulty reading and writing so was promoted to the office of Cardinal Secretary of State). Cardinal Giovanni Maria del Monte openly admitted that he had fallen in love with him, and who used favors to ensure the cooperation of the boy’s father, and their sexual activities became common gossip, that in time saw the youth moved to a monastery where he had “a free hand”. Read: Burkle-Young, Francis A. and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer (1997). The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte : a scandal in scarlet ; together with materials for a history of the House of Ciocchi del Monte San Savino. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1997. (Renaissance studies, v. 2); Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 297-301; Chacón, Alfonso (1558). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1588; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 31-32, 61, 75, 76 and 246, “Mirapicen.”, n. 5; Weber, Christoph (1994). Legati e governatori dello Stato Pontificio : 1550-1809. Roma : Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1994. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato. Sussidi; 7) pp. 149 and 630.; the youngest “pope” (a fiction) was St. Alexander I, who was 16 and deposed when he was 21 in Rome “for secret sins of the flesh”–he was homosexual [all original prints of the above references are in the private library in Perú of this author and can be found in the libraries of major universities), using words similar to that of the curia and Holy Inquisition during the trial of scientist Galileo Galilee on the unfounded charges of heresy (deny the validity of the Old Testament, Joshua 10:13 (a plagiarism from ancient Hittite cuneiform records), claim that the sun stood still in its circling the earth). Opus Dei, following the Machiavellian maneuverings and protestations of the unholy scoundrel and flagellant Josemaria Escrivá, refuses free speech for dissent, women the right of determining the destiny of their own bodies, basic human rights and more in preparation to take over the world and make it into a martial and militant medieval Roman Catholic state (cp. Escriva’s The Way). Escrivá and his nefarious organization was rightfully called "God's Octopus" so meniacal was his greed, grasp and lack of principles, that numbers four bishops in the USA, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, but most especially the sewage-tongued Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has referred to human rights as “that bullshit!” (in a 1994 interview with Caretas; the better educated in Perú have openly declared, the only “bullshit” is Cipriani Throne).
A strong supporters of dictators such as Alberto Fujimori and would-be queen, Congresista Martha Chavez, Cipriani-Thorne has publicly declared that the teenage students of La Cantuta who were murdered by the paramilitary thugs "who Cipriani Thorne has declared "dutiful sons of Mother Church") of Vladimiro Montesinos who ordered that the victims be sodomized before being shot so “they will never enter heaven” were justifiably executed—a claim that has embolden Martha Chavez to demand her “right” to tear down a memorial raised to the innocents “until every pebble is discarded” (read here and here). Martha [Marta in Perú Spanish] Chavez has the support of most gangster elements in Peru and is quick to draw Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne’s support for her most draconian designs. A schizophrenic psychopath, Juan Luis Cipriani Thornea condemned the peasants who opposed the death penalty of being cowards, and became the insatiable blood-lusting cleric once Abimael Guzmán (the leader of the Shining Path) was captured–the applauded the death penalty but later changed his mind and now opposes capital punishment. Demented and with no training in psychology, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has referred to homosexuals as “damaged goods” and demonstrates he has never studied nor read a single medical and psychological treatise on this natural and normal (as defined by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association among hundreds of other professional groups in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia and was removed from the classification of being “a disease” by the World Health Organization in 1977; only the most uneducated nations led by theocrats like Cipriani Thorne, radical Islamic ayatollahs [archbishops] and illiterate Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Nigeria and Uganda maintain that this natural state of sexuality is a perversion and demand the death of innocent LGBT people) state among all species.
When not casting cruel aspersions on the increasing LGBT community in Perú, the calamitous Cipriani turns the torn earn of charity away from the pleas of thousands of Perú women to have a safe abortion when the zygote is conceived by an act of rape, incest, or without consent. The stranglehold of religion on the schools prohibits medical specialists from teaching safe therapeutic skills for a save abortion, and outlaws even the discussion of fetal development unless the zygote and fetal cell growth is wrongly defined as being “a child.” Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has actually outdone Adolf Hitler on duplicity and legislating against the people in an effort to make them forever ignorant, forever poor, and forever slaves of the dying Roman Catholic Church.
Through steamed lenses covered with blood of his victims Cipriani Thorn sees his greatest enemies as being the Jesuits who champion human rights in Perú, and closets himself with mentally mummified mortals. The same is true of Adventist and other sectarian evangelical schools where doctrine and indoctrination is considered of greater importance than inquiry, education and learning with the greatest damage done to the sciences (creation is still taught as the genesis of the world, earth’s solar system is detailed as the only universe, etc) and medicine (colds originate because of the drinking of cold water, headaches are the result of thinking evil thoughts inspired by a chimerical Satan, and a woman’s priority is to have children following the Nazi proclamation patterned after a speech by their dead Kaiser Wilhelm II:
Kinder, Küche, Kirche that was blessed by Protestant evangelicals and Roman Catholic clergy throughout the Third Reich).
Academically, religion belongs in a department of philosophy or literature if it enters a school—otherwise it must stay in a mosque, synagogue, church, temple or other religious edifice. Each religion must be compared to all other religions as well as philosophies opposed to religion: atheism, agnosticism, human sciences, free-thinkers and so forth; the comparison must be academic to broaden knowledge. To do otherwise negates intelligence, acquisition of knowledge unfettered with canons, codes, and contexts that cannot be proven; furthermore it limits the freedom of the learner and the quest for wisdom (σοφία or sophia). Giving preference to any god or goddess or to any religion is not only a disservice to the serious student but discourages objectivity and learning. All religions are equal as all came out of an uneducated environment seeking some explanation for that which no one had the answers as science had not yet been born, and with the various clergy, science was stiffled or stripped of meaning in the same manner as it has been transmogrified throughout Perú as it is in Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and worse in the USA in the state of Louisiana. Education to live, thrive, and grow must be supported financially, intellectually and personally: by teachers, administrators, and students who demand access to truth and are willing to pay the price by studying: reading, writing, analyzing, debating, and being able to critique that which is to determine if it is real and still pertinent.