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FOCUS December 2005 Volume 42

South Asian Context

The first ever consultation workshop on human rights education in South Asian schools organized by HURIGHTS OSAKA was held in New Delhi in 1998.

This workshop identified the need for the training of teachers, as one of the necessary supporting elements for human rights education in schools programs. Thus in 1999, the South Asia Training Workshop on Human Rights Education in Schools was held in Bangkok with the participation of school teachers, education officials, teacher trainers, and non-governmental organization (NGO) educators from 5 South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). This workshop was followed by a research project on education policies and human rights education, and on human rights awareness of students and teachers in India and Sri Lanka. The research started in late 2003.

At the national level, several human rights education in schools programs exist. They are implemented by government agencies, NGOs and universities/schools. In Sri Lanka, the University of Colombo's Centre for the Study of Human Rights continues to undertake activities on human rights for its school-based programs. It likewise works with the government's National Institute of Education (NIE) on training teachers. In India, several NGOs continue to expand their programs to more schools. The government's National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) continues to produce materials related to human rights education. In Pakistan, the Ministry of Education adopted a national human rights education plan of action focusing on schools with the support of UNESCO Islamabad office and many Pakistani educators. Some NGOs in Nepal and Bangladesh implement human rights education programs in schools also.


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