Human Rights Education in Asian Schools Volume IX
South Asia Workshop on Human Rights Education in Schools 2
South Asia Workshop on Human Rights Education in Schools | Page: 1 2
School Policies and Programs
Schools exist to treat humankind with equity. It is the school that helps develop an understanding of the people of the world and the respect for human life and humankind. Likewise it is a duty of the school to develop individuals with wholesome attitudes and good behavior. While it is only through cooperative effort that the humankind could develop, the foundation is laid through the school. Therefore the Civic Education and Civics and Governance subjects should be taught as compulsory subjects in schools.
It is the duty of school authorities to provide an annual program appropriate for the region where every student can participate to transform the syllabus content into more effective learning experiences. At the beginning of the school year, it will be beneficial to produce a program which can be implemented in a practical way. Given below are some co-curricular activities which can be included in such program:
Assessment and Evaluation
- Organizing field work programs and educational tours
- Starting small scale research projects
- Holding quiz contests, debates and exhibitions
- Producing wall newspapers and periodical publications
- Cooperating and working with other organizations in the region
- Working with national and international organizations
- Holding workshops with the participation of resource persons
Examination and evaluation practices should take place in the following manner:
- Teachers in charge of the subject may organize school-based assessment. It is expected that assessment will be done according to the school-based assessment scheme prepared by the National Institute of Education.
- Students should have mid-year and yearend examinations which are held at school, regional and provincial levels whereby their knowledge, understanding, application and high-level learning abilities could be measured.
The Pakistani participants explained the integration of human rights education into Pakistani school curriculum. Mrs. Rubina Victor
explained that human rights could be taught in social studies subject (which includes history, civics, and geography) and in Islamic studies subject. Ms. Sitwat Yusufzai
presented the experiences of one private school, specifically about the lesson plans on human rights for Urdu language subject.
They listed ideas (values) related to human rights that could be emphasized in several subjects (language, mathematics, science and social studies) covering Grades 1 to 10.
They also mentioned that the methodologies to be used depend on the subject and the topic being taught as mentioned in the guide for curriculum review. Aside from the materials listed in the guide, role-play, short storytelling, dramatic presentations could be added.
According to the general principles governing the National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education developed by Pakistan's Federal Ministry of Education (Curriculum Wing) in collaboration with UNESCO Islamabad Office in 2001, there is a need to
- Promote respect for and protect all human rights through educational activities for all members of society
- Promote the interdependence, indivisibility, and universality of human rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights and the right to development
- Integrate women's rights as human rights in all aspects of the national plan
- Recognise the importance of human rights education for democracy, sustainable development, the rule of law, the environment and peace
- Recognise the role of human rights education as a strategy for the prevention of human rights violations
- Encourage analysis of chronic and emerging human rights problems, which would lead to solutions consistent with human rights standards
- Foster knowledge and skills to use global, regional, national and local human rights instruments and mechanisms for the protection of human rights
- Empower communities and individuals to identify their human rights needs and to ensure that they are met
- Develop pedagogies that include knowledge, critical analysis and skills for action furthering human rights
- Promote research and the development of educational materials to sustain these general principles
- Foster learning environments free from want and fear that encourages participation, enjoyment of human rights and the full development of the human personality.
The National Plan of Action also provides that all educational activities to be undertaken under it must foster:
- Respect for and appreciation of differences and opposition to discrimination on the basis of race, nation or ethnic origin, gender, religion, age, social, physical, or mental condition, language, sexual orientation, etc.
- Non-discriminatory language and conduct
- Respect for and appreciation of diversity of opinion
- Participatory teaching and learning
- "Translation" of human rights norms into the conduct of daily life
- Professional training of trainers
- Development and strengthening of national capacities and expertise for the effective implementation of the plan.
The Federal Ministry of Education (Curriculum Wing) prepared in 2005 the Curriculum for Human Rights Education (Curriculum) based on the National Plan of Action.
The Curriculum is divided into three levels: primary, middle school and secondary. While the Curriculum primarily presents a subject on human rights, it strongly recommends integration of human rights issues into other subjects as well. Furthermore, it suggests methodologies to be utilized for the delivery of the lessons as are also a variety of activities that students can do in school, at home and in the community. Thus a holistic flavor has been added to what is basically a course in human rights.
At the primary level, the human right issues include individual rights, social rights and responsibilities, protection of societal/cultural values, and political and legal rights. Perhaps the provisions of CRC can be added at this level.
At the middle school level, the human right issues include individual rights and responsibilities, rights of people living in a community, protection of cultural/societal values, and protection of political and legal rights. Considering that the rights of muslims and non-muslim minorities are mentioned in this section, perhaps the addition of conflict resolution will not be inappropriate at this level. Again, the study and related activities based on the CRC can be added to the curriculum.
At the secondary school level, the human rights issues include respect for humanity, individuals'
rights and responsibilities as members of society, protection of cultural/societal values, and political, constitutional and legal rights. Perhaps at this level, since the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the 1994 Cairo Declaration on Population & Development, and the 1995 Beijing Declaration are being introduced, a study of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during the threeyear period would be beneficial in developing further focus on the entire curriculum.
For human rights education to succeed in its objectives, what is required in the formulation of curriculums is
- a human rights mindset
- a holistic approach
- consciousness of the knowledge, attitude, values and skills to be expressed
- comprehensive promotion of the principles of international understanding, co-operation, peace and human rights
- creation of a balance and clear linkages between the objectives to be met and the content
- awareness of the gradual progression required for adequate internalization of the concepts based on the varying levels of cognitive development.
The governing principles of the National Plan of Action cover almost all the suggested skills, values and attitudes listed in table below that should be integrated into the Curriculum. The "personal perspective on peace" at varying levels automatically covers those that are not specifically mentioned (e.g. the integration of women's rights as human rights). Other principles such as interdependence, indivisibility, universality of human rights, democracy, sustainable development, the rule of law, the environment and peace, are all included in the Curriculum. Perhaps a study of the Constitution of Pakistan, which includes articles based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, can be inserted into the Social Studies curriculum of Grades 8 and 9.
The Curriculum certainly implements the National Plan of Action especially in the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values for a holistic, meaningful approach to human rights.
One question about the National Plan of Action is whether or not there will ever be enough resources to introduce human rights education in schools. It thus appears imperative "that the teachers be trained to internalize the human rights perspective and then be able to take up the issues in the classroom."
Teacher training, to an extent, meets the needs of another principle governing the National Plan of Action. An appropriate learning environment generated by an appropriately trained teacher ensures adequate participation of students in absorbing human rights concepts, while all stakeholders develop the required attitude towards human rights education.
Skills, values and attitudes to be integrated into school curriculum for internalizing human rights concepts are enumerated in a table on pages 141-142.
The Social Studies concepts are the same as those to be integrated for Languages (see column for Languages). These concepts may be simultaneously introduced into the Languages and Social Studies subjects at every grade level.
Skills, values and attitudes would be integrated into the existing school curriculum without effecting changes in it. By focusing on the concepts to be woven in, lessons would be picked up from the various subjects into which they could suitably be incorporated into. The improvement being envisioned is that no matter which subject or theme is to be integrated, the basic practices to be developed would be inquiry-based learning and critical thinking.
The progression of each concept has to be clearly kept in view while integrating the skills, attitudes and values into lesson plans so that awareness of the concepts increases, according to grade level.
[TABLE] Skills, values and attitudes to be integrated into school curriculum for internalizing human rights concepts
The Indian participants (Prof. S. Nagpal,
Dr. G. K. Joneja,
Ms. Seema Srivathava,
Dr. S. Fawzianadeem
) involved in developing the school curriculum in India and emphasized the need to integrate human rights education both in the school and in the teacher education curriculum. A study on the experience on values education in a private school was also presented in the workshop.
India is a free nation with a rich history, an extraordinary complex cultural diversity, and a commitment to democratic values and well being for all. The National Policy of Education of 1986 proposed a national curriculum framework as a means of evolving a national system of education, and recommended a core component derived from the vision of national development enshrined in the Constitution. In 2005, the National Curricular Framework was adopted (NCF 2005) with the broad aim of maintaining an education system guided by the constitutional vision of India as a secular, egalitarian and pluralistic society, and founded on the values of social justice and equality. NCF 2005 was prepared with the help of a National Steering Committee, which was supported by 21 national focus groups dealing with 21 core themes:
- Aims of education
- Systemic reforms for curriculum change
- Teaching of Indian Languages
- Teaching of English
- Teaching of Mathematics
- Teaching of Science
- Teaching of Social Sciences
- Habitat and learning
- Art, Music, Dance and Theatre
- Heritage crafts
- Work and education
- Health and physical education
- Early childhood education
- Problems of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Education
- Gender Issues in Education
- Educational Technology
- Education of Groups with Special Needs
- Education for Peace
- Curriculum Syllabus and Textbooks
- Teacher Education for Curriculum Renewal
The guiding principles for NCF 2005 are:
- Connecting knowledge to life outside school;
- Ensuring that learning is shifted away from rote methods;
- Enriching the curriculum to provide for over-all development of children rather than remain textbook-centered;
- Making examination more flexible and integrated with classroom life; and
- Nurturing an overriding identity formed by caring concerns within the democratic policy of the country.
Keeping in view these guiding principles of curriculum development, learning and knowledge are differentiated in the following ways:
- The correspondence between learner development and learning is intrinsic to curricular practices
- Knowledge is different from information
- Learning experiences are needed for the construction of knowledge and the fostering of creativity, and also to develop critical perspectives on social issues
- Connecting knowledge across disciplinary boundaries leads to insightful construction of knowledge
- Constitutional values and principles should mediate the plurality of textbooks and other materials incorporating local knowledge.
The in-depth analysis and critical appraisal at the micro- and macro-levels of the above premises of NCF 2005 reflect Indian concern for human rights education, whether directly or indirectly taught. In all the four familiar areas of school curriculum, i.e, language, mathematics, science and social sciences, significant changes are recommended with a view to making education meet present and future needs and in order to alleviate the stress that children are coping with today. NCF 2005 recommends the softening of subject boundaries so that children taste integrated knowledge and the joy of understanding. Home language/mother tongue has to be considered as the best medium to build a foundation for education. Teaching mathematics can focus on the development of the child's resources to think and reason, to visualize abstractions, and to formulate and solve problems. Teaching science can be changed to enable learners to acquire methods and processes, curiosity and creativity.
Social science while considered from a disciplinary perspective can emphasize an integrated approach in the treatment of significant themes (such as human rights education). As a paradigm shift, the study of social science is proposed to be seen from the perspectives of marginalized groups. Gender justice and sensitivity towards issues related to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities and other minorities must inform all sectors of social sciences. NCF 2005 draws attention to other four curricular areas such as arts, heritage crafts, health and physical education and peace education, which form critical components of school education. They are not separate subjects but highly integrated components. The potential of peace education for socializing children into a democratic and just culture can be actualized through appropriate activities and judicious choice of topics in all subjects and at all stages.
School ethos is discussed as a dimension of the curriculum as it predisposes the child towards the aims of education and strategies of learning necessary to succeed in school. As a resource, school time need to be planned locally and in a flexible manner - flexible school calendars and timetables which permit time slots of different lengths required for different types of activities such as project work and outdoor excursion to natural and heritage sites.
In the context of systemic reforms, NCF 2005 emphasizes strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) by having more streamlined approach that encourages community participation as a means of enhancing quality education and accountability. Further, there is need to reconceptualize textbooks, teacher handbooks and other materials based on new perspectives and use of interactive technologies. There is also a need to use productive work as pedagogic medium in school curriculum from pre-primary to secondary stages, and emphasize vocational education to a great extent. Examination reforms highlight shift from content-based testing to problem-solving and competency-based assessment and examinations of shorter duration, with flexible time limits. NCF 2005 highlights the significance of partnership between schools and civil society groups (NGOs, etc.).
In teacher education, radical steps are required to reverse the recent trends toward the dilution of professional norms, and ensure professionalism and accountability. Pre-service training programs need to be more comprehensive and lengthy, incorporating sufficient opportunities for observation of children and interaction of pedagogic theory with practice through school internship.
Human rights education in schools is made possible through all the school activities including subjects of teaching, morning assembly, literary activities, sports, performing arts, cultural activities, social service programs and school celebrations. The components of human rights education are emphasizing three aspects, i.e., knowledge, attitudes and practice. The learning of the three aspects begins very early as children. Therefore, they experience human rights and learn to respect human rights both in school and out of school. Of course, formal knowledge about human rights can be imparted slowly at higher (secondary) stage. Before that it is important to educate students about human rights through various school practices both related to direct subject teaching and development of non-cognitive areas of learning emphasizing personal and social growth.
In this way, the students would be able to develop human rights-related attitudes and values such as equality, co-operation, scientific temper, humanism, service to others, peace, understanding and respect for cultural differences and pluralism, democratic participation, spirit of respect and caring for elders, physically challenged, the disadvantaged.
In India, many schools are directly and indirectly imparting education for human values of which human rights education forms a part. The development of attitudes and some knowledge about human rights can be seen in the curriculum, teaching strategies adopted in the classes, all the school activities, and ethos. Some of these are summarized in the table below.
Pre-requisites for human rights education in schools
|Subject Teaching||The teachers plan lessons and try to relate with the immediate environment of the students. For example|
· Teaching a unit on 'Environment Awareness' with group discussion on 'Pollution in India and CNG [compressed natural gas] in the buses and other transport means in Delhi
· Selecting passages, essays emphasizing human rights in languages
· Emphasizing practice of constitutional values through enacting youth/student parliament or formation of the same in the school as part of social science syllabuses
· Learning, playing and singing songs of different regions, languages, cultures and religions in music classes
· Learning reasoning and unbiased approach of mathematics.
|School Assembly||The inputs for the morning assembly include national anthem, patriotic/cultural/devotional songs, thought for the day, community singing, presentation of news of the day and some physical exercises or yoga or aerobics. Special assemblies to celebrate important national festivals and anniversaries are arranged.|
Attitudes and values such as oneness of humanity, citizenship, equality, peace, respect for different religions and cultures, discipline, punctuality are developed.
|Fine Arts||The students learn to draw and paint and makerangoli(traditional art work done on the ground using powder of different colors], etc., independently based on their observation and creativity on the common universal themes which further strengthen attitudes and values like creativity, imagination, freedom, happiness, appreciation and self-confidence.|
|Performing Arts||The inputs include:|
· Drama on communal harmony, social issues
· Short plays/skits on political scenario, social and educational issues
· Music - patriotic songs, folk songs, regional language songs
Attitudes and values hence developed lead to creative thinking, appreciation of cultural values i.e., sense of identification, appreciation, respect for cultural differences, teamwork, and open-mindedness.
|Literary Activities||The main inputs include:|
· Debates on social and political issues such as child rights, girl child, terrorism, population explosion, CNG usage, brain drain, and giving homework to students
· Story writing/story telling on human-rights-related issues
· Collection of quotations
· Essay writing on issues such as 'Role of women in empowerment of nation', 'Current status of women in society', 'Blasting of Buddha's statue in Afghanistan', etc.
All these activities enhance attitudes and values concerning human rights, sensitivity to social, educational, environmental and political concerns, quest for knowledge, democratic values (freedom of expression, leadership, responsibility, critical thinking and openness).
|School Celebrations||Indian schools celebrate many important days throughout the year. These are Independence Day, Children's Day, International Peace Day, National Integration Day, Quit India Movement, Republic Day, Teacher's Day, World Literacy Day, World Food Day, International Women's Day, Parents Day, Grandparents Day, Annual Day, Christmas, Helping Hands Day, Birth Anniversaries of important national leaders and prophets (such as Jayanti, M K Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Guru Nanak, Valmiki, Mahavir, Guru Gobind Singh, Vivekananda, Subash Chandra Bose, B.R.Ambedkar, Rishi Ved Vyas, Goswami Tulsi Das, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Shivaji). Schools celebrate important national festivals such as Deepavali, Lohri, Holi, and Basant Panchami, etc.|
The celebration inputs include speeches on the personality/day/festivals, skits, songs, dramas, dances on the theme and pledge, etc. These all lead to the development of attitudes and values of secularism and love for all religions, open-mindedness, concern for others, team spirit, respect for distinguished personalities, women and elders, patriotism, social responsibility, pride in cultural heritage, etc.
|Games and Sports||Ensuring participation of each student in at least one game/sport promotes in them many qualities such as honesty, sportsmanship, team spirit, tolerance, courage, and confidence.|
|Social Service Programs||The schools involve the students in social service programs to develop in them positive attitude towards life and society. Some of the examples of the programs are:|
· Helping Help Aged India Organization
· Collecting funds for poor students/free education for 25% of student population consisting of needy students
· Environmental awareness campaign, traffic awareness campaign, literacy campaign
· Fund raising for earthquake and tsunami victims
· Organizing fairs to raise money for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the area of health, literacy, child care, etc.
· Neighborhood programs for cleanliness, literacy, etc. of the area (community work).
These relate to the attitudes and values of concern for the poor and needy, sense of responsibility, care, compassion, democratic values, equality, leadership, teamwork, etc.
The school management must take interest in the school offerings and encourage the principal, teachers and students to plan activities to promote human rights. Sports, games and all the other school activities must ensure maximum student participation in order to promote the concept of equality, justice, etc.
The students need to be provided opportunities to work together and relate meaningfully to the world they live in through activities related to science, environment, history, art and culture, etc. The role of schoolteachers, principal, parents should be articulated strongly in undertaking human rights education in schools. Human rights education in schools and teacher training institutes
Human rights education needs a multipronged approach. Schools, teachers, parents, communities, teacher-training institutes and all scholars of society have to work together in creating a multiplier effect in spreading human rights awareness.
Teacher education institutes on primary education are involved in training, material development, and research activities in school education.
The present curriculum of Elementary Teacher Education Diploma for two years has about 32 papers including sociological foundation papers, content and others like Educational Technology, Work Experience, Art Education, Health and Physical Education, Population Education, Value Education, etc.
Interestingly the course has one optional paper 'Value Education' which includes many areas of human rights education. Some examples of the curriculum of primary teacher education courses, subjects (social studies), activities, and exercises are narrated below. Unless prospective teachers are sensitized and trained by teacher educators on human rights education, it may not percolate/filter down to school practices. Different exercises, projects, assignments etc., can be included to make it interesting and applicable to real life situations. Hence the curriculum at teacher-training level needs to be analyzed in this light and teacher educators trained to practice it in real situations. Interesting action researches, projects and assignments can be included in the curriculum with objective assessment criteria for the actual implementation of human rights practices at school level. Efforts should be made to integrate different aspects human rights education (components of UDHR and CRC) in the present curriculum of teacher training.
1. Value Education (Elementary Teacher Education) - 2nd Year
The Elementary Teacher Education Curriculum has a paper on value education, which has significant coverage on human rights education. (See details below) This paper is taught in the second year of Elementary Teacher Education program. It is very important to stress that this paper is taught as an optional paper. Hence, it is the prerogative of student-teachers to opt for this paper or not. Therefore, also, there is a need for either a compulsory paper on human rights or the integration of human rights across the theory papers and practical activities.
|UNIT 1 - Concept of Value Education (value types, moral and social)|
|UNIT 2 - Perspectives on Value Education|
· Indian culture
· Unity in diversity
· Spirit of tolerance
· Assimilation and synthesis
· Values enshrined in Indian constitution, democracy and rational morality
|UNIT 3 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)|
|UNIT 4 - Human Rights|
· Need and importance of human rights education
· Human rights and the Constitution of India
· Education for peace, cooperation and nonviolence
· Role of the Indian National Human Rights Commission and other internal agencies
|UNIT 5 - Self-realization and Yoga|
|UNIT 6 - Approaches, strategies and methods of Value Education|
· Community services - Empathy development
|UNIT 7 - School Climates|
· Teacher's role in moral development, interpersonal relations, professional ethics, code of conduct
· Cultural climate
· School climate - captions, pictures, status and physical climate
· School climate and respect for human rights
· Practical work/projects related to human rights education
· Compilation of articles/papers on moral education/human rights/child rights, etc. Newspaper clippings, cases/case study (scrap binds/collection)
· Preparation of relevant teaching/learning materials
· Compilation of stories, poems related to human rights and moral values
2. Child Development - 1st year
|Column I|| Column II|
|a. Right to life|
b. Right to liberty
c. Right to equality
d. Right to health
e. Right to education
|i. A Dalit person was refused entry into a temple|
ii. A person in the custody of the police dies
iii. A parent refuses to serve a child to make her/him behave
iv. A convicted person is killed by an inmate
v. A mother fails to have her child vaccinated at appropriate time
vi. A patient's condition deteriorates in hospital due to neglect of medical care
vii. A person is driven out of his state
Nature and approaches to understand Child Development
CRC can be included to throw light on what are child rights and how they can be protected, how they are violated, and who to contact in case of violation.
Classroom/school situations, community, parents, faculty, peer group, teachers, etc.
Situations can be given to children in different groups. On given situations the children can be asked to respond and react and then ideal strategy/solutions can be given.
E.g. Matching/Batching can be done (column I - human rights and column II - situation)
Economics - Class IX - X Human-rights-related
Examine situations where human needs have been adversely affected resulting in human rights violations:
True/False situations can also be given.
- A child's scholarship was stopped because her/his father displeased her/his teacher
- A teacher deprives the child of mid-day meal for not doing her/his home work
- A student shuts her/his classmate in school bathroom in the presence of other students in anger
- A student was reprimanded for wearingdirty school uniform in the class
- A teacher rebukes/abuses a student for not depositing fees on time
- A child is denied admission in school near to her/his residence at primary level
- A child is asked to slap another child in the event of fight between them.
All human beings are equal (T/F)
Government always protects child/women and men (T/F)
A child may be refused admission on the basis of caste (T/F)
Few curriculum examples
Social Science topics:
- Small society, family life, school and community
- Big society - community, country, state
- Forms of government
- The United Nations
- The world today - East-West problem, armaments, events at international level
- The world around us - studies of individual countries
- Religion and philosophy of life, analysis of different religions, traditional beliefs and practices.
The possession of arms causes international tension and hinders the peaceful existence of humankind.
Make the students
- Understand the meaning of arms race
- Understand the reasons why some nations are in this race
- Explain its implications
- Support public opinion in condemning arms race
- Appreciate efforts to divert the expenditure on armaments to developmental aspects.
- Show pictures on world wars and its effect on people
- Ask students to react and reflect their feelings on the pictures (How would they feel if they are all victims of war?)
- Interview people who have witnessed war or armed conflict and analyze the findings.
Group Work =====> Exercise
- Prohibition of slavery
i.e., Prohibition of slavery and servitude
- History - Imperialism; Feudalism
- Effect of dumping of goods by economically advanced countries into the developing countries in the name of globalization
- Right to freedom of thought, expression and religion → Civics - Constitution (Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties)
- Right to education and to choose kind of education → Civics - Constitution - State policy or Directive Principles
Economy → Classification of economies into developed, developing, underdeveloped categories
Classification on the basis of stages of development, character of economic activities (agrobased/industrialized)
The origin of human rights phenomenon explained in a historical perspective.
Discussion on the following historical periods in relation to human rights
UNIT - II
Nazism under Hitler's regime, Fascism under Mussolini
Japan - atomic bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima
Industrialization process - the Industrial Revolution and Intellectual Property Rights can be discussed by emphasizing the rule of class-conflict capitalism, which promotes low wages, unhealthy working conditions, etc.
Population → Growth, causes, density, per capital income, standard of living/quality of life.
→Status of unemployment (global perspective) - relate with human rights à Right to employment
→ Right to health
"Developing Training Inputs to Key Persons for the Psycho-Social Development of SC/STs"
Primary Level - Storytelling
Language - Lessons
Debates - Human rights, girlchild, friendship, human spirit on any current issue - terrorism, population explosion, pollution
Essay writing - current status of women, role of women's "empowerment" in the nation
Dramas, role play
Self-confidence, self-expression, equality, self-discipline, human rights, universal fellowship, humanism
Self-confidence - Learning to construct knowledge through observation, inquiry, experimentation, honesty, and truthfulness in reporting observations, perseverance, protection of environment (directly related to the rights of those affected)
Perseverance - Continuous effort to achieve the outcome desired (application to human rights)
- problem solving ability
- application of knowledge to life, solve dayto- day problems
Water - resource management, conservation, distribution wastage, encroachment on rights of others
Logical reasoning is the basis of self-confidence. Therefore, self-confidence is aimed at developing ability to exercise rights.
Primary level - appreciation of nature, development of scientific temper and attitudes through curiosity and creativity. Human rights education can be integrated in the following subjects:
|Math||· Way of thinking, reasoning - importance of mental mathematics. Relating content to daily lives of child (e,g., pupil loss, etc.) makes it a) relevant to life, b) shows respect for appreciating child's background and therefore help build child's self esteem|
|Social Studies||· All subjects are human rights based|
|Geography||· Respect for regional, physical and life style diversities, promote acceptance and respect them|
· Resources distribution - availability requirements and places from where needs could be met
· Further discussion can be on children's own environment where they reflect upon how their handling of various resources affects others' rights
· This is how they learn to respect the needs of others and fair and just distribution of resources
|History||· Past and present concerns. They learn about various events influencing violation or promotion of human rights, e.g, sati (burning of the widow), dowry, casteism, communalism, invasions, etc.|
· Rights of different groups - deprived, disadvantaged, neglected, etc. and finding the way to life of dignity
|Civics||· Respect for democracy, its functions, citizens' (students') role in democratic institutions, local bodies/public institutions, their functions, how helpful to you and how you can help them|
· Student parliament - developing leadership qualities through enacting role of parliamentary elected body
|Economics||· Understanding economy, economic development and its role in employment and the country's development. Everybody's participation in economic life of the country, i.e., growing up as a thinking individual|
|Physical Education||· Feeling of togetherness, fellowship, sportsmanship|
|Heritage craft, arts and music||· Not just lifeskills but respecting diversity, cultural heritage|
Other components in the school system: some suggestions
|Activities related to Subjects||· Debates|
· Group Discussions
· Role play - primary level
|Co-curricular Activities||· Assembly|
· Social service
· Literary contests
· School celebrations (festivals, Jayanti's days, Parents' Day, Republic Day)
· International days
· Performing arts (dance, music, drama, songs, folk etc.)
· Campaigns for social environmental causes
· Foster Mother scheme
|School Ethos||· Management|
· Human rights activists
|Practice||· Respect children, parents|
· Fair treatment
· Just opportunities
· All students to participate and be included in different stages of an activity
The workshop was indeed an exercise on sharing ideas and experiences. It also helped stress the importance of having explicit, if not comprehensive, inclusion of human rights into the school subjects. Some participants shared their games and songs including a song about child rights used in teacher training in Nepal. See Annex 1 for the English version of the song sung by SR Bista during the workshop.
Discussions during the workshop revealed a number of important issues relevant to the content, process of development and support system for the integration of human rights education into the school curriculum.
In the context of South Asia, the concept of fulfilling one's duty as a primary concern is a major issue on human rights discussions. Mahatma Gandhi's 1947 letter to UNESCO
commenting on the draft Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often cited as an endorsement of the duty-first concept. The workshop discussions however showed a change of perspective. One questioned the fairness of this concept as applied to the Dalits, who are relegated to serving upper castes. And a new view was explained saying that one's duty cannot be performed well unless one's human rights are respected. The discussions on the duty-first concept are important in talking about human rights contextualized in the South Asian sociocultural terrain.
The current trend among the countries in South Asia, as in other countries in Asia as a whole, is to emphasize language and computer technology in the school curriculum. Parents demand that their children learn English in school as early as possible, and that they also learn communication and information technology in order to equip their children with skills useful for their work in the future. While learning English is important, the question is when should it start? English-language teaching at the primary level may go against the view that learning is more effectively acquired through mother-tongue instruction. These discussions relate to the role of school in learning about human rights. Can school curriculum accommodate human rights education in the context of the demand for greater emphasis on language and communications technology education? Or will issues such as human rights fit into a curriculum that emphasizes learning for future work?
Increasing human rights awareness of students is not a monopoly of schools. This was revealed in a survey done in the Philippines and India. The family remains to be a major source of such awareness. The survey likewise shows that children who go to public schools in areas where human rights violations are rampant have higher human rights awareness. This supports the notion that those who suffer from human rights violations are likely to have higher human rights awareness. From this perspective, harnessing the human rights awareness of students and steering it towards a more complete and meaningful understanding and practice of human rights within the school and beyond is a challenge to be faced.
In support of the proper and effective implementation of school curriculum that integrates human rights education, the teacher education curriculum must likewise have human rights education. Those who are training to become teachers should have the proper knowledge, attitude and skills required for human rights education. Thus a parallel effort at integrating human rights education into the teacher education curriculum is needed to ensure that teachers can facilitate human rights learning.
The participants from Pakistan consisted of a school principal in a public school and a teacher in a private school.
Invited participants from Bangladesh could not attend due to difficulties in securing official permission as public officials to travel outside the country. There could have been participants from Maldives if not for budgetary limitation.
Mr. Yoshio Kawashima was not able to go to Delhi due to other commitments. A staff of HURIGHTS OSAKA read the opening message on his behalf.
The two instruments are the following: South Asian Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution (January 2002), and the SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia (January 2002).
This survey involves 4 countries (India, Japan, Philippines and Sri Lanka) which are assumed to have considerable experience in implementing human rights education programs in schools.
Deputy Director, Teacher Training Section, National Center for Educational Development (NCED), Ministry of Education and Sports, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Deputy Director, Department of Education (DOE), Sanothimi, Bhaktapur, Nepal.
The situation in Nepal improved in May 2006 when the parliament was restored and a ceasefire was declared between the government and the Communist Party of Nepal.
9. Annual Work Plan and Budgets of the Department of Education
. In the current fiscal year, 2062/063, the government allocated the budget of 36.1 million Nepali rupees (over 500,000 US dollars) in SESP and 4.6 million Nepali rupees (over 65,000 US dolars) in Education-For-All programs.
Head, Primary education, Curriculum Development Division I, National Institute of Education, Maharagama, Sri Lanka.
Project Officer, Department of Social Sciences, National Institute of Education, Maharagama, Sri Lanka.
Headmistress, Government Girls Syed Baz Mohd. Shah School, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.
Representing Grammar School Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education, Ministry of Education, Islamabad, pages 4-5.
Ibid., page 5.
Ibid., page 4.
Department of Psychology and Educational Foundation, National Council of Educational Research and Training.
Reader, Department of Psychology and Educational Foundation, National Council of Educational Research and Training.
Lecturer in Education, District Institute of Education and Training.
Lecturer in Education, Department of Educational Foundation, Jamia Millia Islamia.
Letter of Mahatma Gandhi to Dr. Julian Huxley, then Director General of UNESCO.
Children are Zones of Peace
Soviet Ram Bista
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this
School is a garden and students are flowers
Flowering them to full bloom duty of ours
They're our heartbeat symbol of creation
They are future of the country, builder of the nation
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this
Let us develop our students by touching their feelings
Give them happy learning stop them from weeping
Love them with smile and give them respect
Think always of the children and their progress
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this
Children's learning takes place in joyful way
It helps them achieve their aims of life
Encouragement and motivation choose the ways
Throw the stick from today far away
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this
Let us smell off the blood and gunpowder
Stop the sound of ambush and gun either
Let us cast away fear and bloodshed from schools
Protect child rights, do not abuse
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this
Fear and anxiety away from the children
Get the opportunity to foster their talents
If talents of children would foster
"Children are zones of peace" becomes real
Children are zones of peace, it is our duty to ensure this.
Note: This is the English translation of a Nepali song written by Mr. Soviet Ram Bista and used in the Child-Friendly School training program in Nepal. The training program started in April 2005 and continues till the present. It is supported by Save the Children Norway.