Non-Fiction Books:

Heart of Education

Assessing Human Rights in Rwanda's Schools

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Spiral bound

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The Heart of Education: Assessing Human Rights in Rwanda's Schools by African Rights
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Description

Schoolchildren in Rwanda are almost all affected in some way by the country's traumatic past. Yet many leave school without studying the history of the 1990 civil war, or the 1994 genocide and mass exile. These children could name perpetrators or victims of abuses from among their friends or relatives, but they learn little or nothing about the doctrine of universal human rights in the classroom. Human rights education is an obligation under international treaties but it is also an imperative in this scarred and divided society. The Government of Rwanda accepts this and aims to improve and broaden human rights teaching in primary and secondary schools. This is a vital undertaking which should be given due credit and support. African Rights' latest report The Heart of Education: Human Rights in Rwanda's Schools provides an assessment of current needs in the curriculum and the school environment from a human rights perspective. It finds that schools labour under extremely difficult conditions. There are severe shortages of trained staff and morale is low. Teachers rely heavily on material produced decades ago, even when the syllabus for their subject has changed since. Pupils complain of teacher absences, of failings in the school administration, of poor conditions and financial difficulties. There have already been efforts to introduce human rights into the curriculum, but they have largely fallen by the wayside as teachers lack the necessary knowledge and resources. Given that Rwanda is a developing country emerging from a period of excessive turmoil, these insights might not be altogether surprising. But they are no less worrying for that. Many of the teachers interviewed by African Rights are barely able to cope with their current workload and the basic problems facing their schools. However, like the pupils we spoke to, they were interested in human rights issues and felt that these should be taught in schools. Overwhelmingly they called for training schemes to be introduced and teaching resources to be provided. The report examines the concerns of Rwandese teachers and pupils in depth. It also provides summary of the ideas and experiences surrounding human rights education programmes in other post-conflict societies, which Rwandese policy makers could draw upon. The report suggests that, despite efforts to raise awareness and understanding of human rights into schools, remarkably little has been achieved overall. Seven years after a genocide this is a devastating realisation and one that all concerned, including the Government of Rwanda, local human rights organisations and members of the international community must take on board and respond to. The development of a comprehensive strategy for human rights education is essential as a component of efforts to create the conditions for future peace.
Release date Australia
May 31st, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Imprint
African Rights
Pages
129
Dimensions
165x220x25
ISBN-13
9781899477388
Product ID
1759546

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