On Thursday, lawmakers in Peru passed a bill that will support the right of parents to educate their children according to their values, principles and religion. The bill was passed Thursday by a vote of 90 to 18.
The legislation was introduced by Congressman Esdras Ricardo Medina and is titled the “Law Promoting the Quality of Educational Materials and Resources in Peru.”
Article 3 of the bill will allow parents to have a say in selecting educational materials, texts and resources that will be used by their children. Teachers and administrators will be prohibited from introducing new material without input from parents.
“Parents participate in the process of developing programs and the content of educational materials, texts and resources for Basic Education (preschool through high school) in conjunction with the institution through the APAFA (Association of Parents of Families) committees, civil associations or other representative bodies,” the bill states, according to the National Catholic Register.
The bill also requires “complete respect for the religious freedom or moral convictions of students and their parents” and emphasizes that “education should not be a means to promote any type of social or political ideology.”
Congressman Alejandro Muñante praised the passage of the law, calling it a “victory supporting the right of parents to educate their children.” Muñante urged Peru’s president not to make any changes and stated his hope that the bill will be “one more step can be taken towards the recovery of an educational system that is a reflection of the Christian principles and values that Peruvian society embraces and defends.”
Pedro Castillo, who currently serves as President of Peru, will have the opportunity to make changes to the bill and send it back to Congress. If any changes are made, Peruvian lawmakers can accept or reject them. If no alterations are made, the bill will pass as is.
Minister of Education Rosendo Serna and Minister of Women Diana Miloslavich have requested that the president propose changes to the bill in the coming days. According to Miloslavich, the rule limits the powers of the Ministry of Education in the preparation of school materials. “I also believe that this affects our stewardship. I vote to have the legislation revised by the president. I hope to have the support of the Council of Ministers and the president,” she said this past Thursday.
Muñante pointed to Article 13 of the nation’s constitution, which gives parents the right to influence their child’s education.
Roman Catholics make up 79% of Peru’s population of 32 million.