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ENGAGE ISSUE SIXTEEN

Supporting Access to Learning Worldwide

The

“No child can be excluded from learning based on others’ prejudices or stereotypes.”

STEVE SINNOTT FOUNDATION

Ana Perona-Fjeldstad, Executive Director The European Wergeland Centre


The STEVE SINNOTT FOUNDATION

Foreword The 5th of April 2018 is the 10th anniversary of Steve Sinnott’s untimely passing. Sadly, increasing numbers will never have known Steve. However, the Foundation is proud to be able to flourish in keeping his legacy alive and promoting the values he held so dear – especially that the provision of quality education for all would be the great global liberator. This sixteenth edition of ENGAGE has a heavy emphasis on tolerance and what needs to be done to break down the barriers that are stopping progress to the goal of education for all. The articles emphasise the importance of learning to live together, cherishing differences and diversity so as to achieve a tolerant global society. These are the crucial components to achieving progress. No less an obstacle is the failure so far to establish universal human rights but the positive news from Ethiopia shows that progress is now being made there in challenging discrimination against girls with their access to education. The article about the Windrush generation has some interesting insights especially how that generation has, eventually, been instrumental in bringing about change in spite of oppression by police and unequal access to education. Persistent campaigning has resulted in a white Britain changing, becoming more tolerant and having one of the biggest mixed race populations in Europe.

Jerry Glazier Chair, The Steve Sinnott Foundation

This magazine could not be published without its designers and printers at Paragraphics and at Ruskin Press. Their expertise and patience is extraordinary. They do not just do the business for us, they are friends of the Foundation and supporters of our work. Ongoing thanks to them.

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A PRIME PURPOSE OF EDUCATION Radio and TV presenter, author and historian Jonathan Dimbleby pulls no punches in his forceful declaration against intolerance We like to think we are tolerant. This is an alarmingly complacent selfdelusion. Very often, in truth, we are tolerant but only when what we tolerate confirms to our own prejudices. Of course we are often right to be intolerant. Our criminal laws are designed to express society’s intolerance of behaviour which not only offends our values but causes direct harm to other individuals. Thus we are not only intolerant of physical violence but verbal violence as well. ‘Hate’ speech targeted, for instance, an individual on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, sexual orientation and more, is outlawed in a civilised democracy. But the law’s intolerance of such offences is not of itself enough to protect the values of a just society. Look around the world and we see intolerance on the rampage. Authoritarian rulers silence opponents; innocent individuals are beaten up, tortured, and killed or driven from their homes for belonging to this or that ethnic group or for holding this or that religious belief. In Europe which likes to believe that it cradles democracy, the virus of racism and xenophobia is spreading at speed. It is overt and threatening. But, no less alarmingly, intolerance within the law is also growing and spreading. ‘Populist’ movements spout hatreds which they conceal behind a veneer of nationalism. Venom spews from the mouths of a growing mob of bigots courtesy of a ‘social’ media where virtually any excess of attitude is given free rein. In those countries where freedom of expression is regarded as an essential component of a free society, there is little that can be done about any of this without imposing a degree of censorship which would muzzle those individual rights to free expression that characterise an open society. And there is the rub. It may sound paradoxical but for me it is axiomatic that the right to say what one wants within the law is a defining characteristic of civilisation. This means that I have an obligation to accept that I will be shocked and offended by much of what I may hear and read. This is not easy. To tolerate opinions that are ugly, stupid, ignorant, wrong-headed, or mean-spirited requires a herculean effort of self-restraint. It does not mean, though, ‘turning the other cheek’ but to accept the importance of dissent while listening, learning, questioning, challenging, objecting, and protesting. We do not have the right to silence or shut down debate merely because our prejudices may be insulted. So, when I see activists trying to silence rival views by shouting them down rather than arguing with them, I am tempted to despair. And when these groups are students or graduates of our great institutions

of higher education, I am appalled. When they use their privileged status at university to ‘no platform’ their opponents merely because they disapprove of alternative opinions and beliefs, I wonder why they can’t get it into their heads that they are denying the very principles that have made it possible for them to be at such institutions in the first place. The arrogance and bigotry of those students who will not allow dissenting voices to speak on their public platforms – whether, for example, they are defenders of Israel or critics of prevailing attitudes towards transgender rights – is pernicious. By censoring dissent they deprive themselves and their peers of the open debate without which civilisation withers. Tolerance of dissent is as important as intolerance of crime. It is one of the prime purposes of education globally to instil this in our very psyche. Otherwise not only will humanity be horribly diminished but the security and prosperity of the world’s citizens will be ever more imperilled than it is already.

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UNBLOCKING THE PATH and fundamental freedoms and to promote tolerance through education. Yet changing societal attitudes towards girls’ education through dialogue and advocacy on the ground in communities is an enormous task. One of the most important challenges is helping girls – and their families – to become aware of their rights to education.

Elizabeth Zewdu, is the Child Protection Officer at Link Community Development Ethiopia. By building a culture of tolerance Elizabeth challenges discrimination in girls’ education. The UNESCO Declaration on Principles of Tolerance defines tolerance as “recognizing the universal human rights and fundamental freedom of others.” However, the global community often fails to practice tolerance, leading to gender inequality, conflict and violence. Though our diversified global community has been threatened by various acts of intolerance, I want to focus here on the infringement of girls’ educational rights. “Sometimes people ask me why girls should go to school and why is it important for them? I think the more important question is why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t they have this right?” said Malala Yousufzai, education advocate and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states education is a universal right which should be enjoyed equally by boys and girls. This right is often denied to disadvantaged groups—especially girls who live in rural parts of sub-Saharan African countries such as Ethiopia—due to cultural beliefs and norms which view women as worthy only for their reproductive and domestic roles, and violate their rights through forced marriage and gender-based violence. Ethiopia has shown a big commitment to gender equality through the codification of equal rights for girls and boys in education in the 1995 constitution. This guarantees the protection of education rights in addition to secularism in education, the introduction of civic and ethical education, and improved participation and enrolment for girls, which is key for gender equality and human rights. The Ethiopian Gender Strategy for the Education Sector (2014) highlighted strong improvement in the participation of girls at primary level (Grade 1-8) and progress in the Gender Parity Index, which increased by 0.94 from 2009-10 to 2012-13. These encouraging results have been leveraged through both law and collaborative action by NGOs focused on achieving the Sustainable

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Development Goals by ending gender disparity in education. However, despite progress, gender inequalities in primary school still persist – evidenced by the considerable drop-out rate of 21.7% for girls in Grade 1 and their low enrollment. These facts are further substantiated by UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, which highlights that 1.8 million girls were out of school in 2009 and that girls’ completion rates of school (at Grade 8) is considerably lower than boys. We have found that societies which, in part or in whole, don’t believe the education of girls is a worthy goal will not encourage girls to attend, participate and perform equally in school. This all too frequently leads impoverished families to send their daughters into petty trade, introducing them to a world of brutal child labour and human trafficking. Michelle Obama recently remarked at the Let Girls’ Learn event in Madrid, “To address the global crisis in girls’ education it’s not just about whether parents can afford school fees or countries can build enough schools. It’s also about whether families and communities think that girls are even worthy of an education in the first place. And it’s about whether women are viewed as second-class citizens, or as full human beings entitled to the same rights and opportunities as men.” Article 5 of UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education obliges global states to strengthen respect for human rights

I have witnessed this challenge being overcome through my work with Link Community Development in rural Wolaita Zone, in the Southern Region of Ethiopia. Our interventions include community dialogue with mothers and advocacy and awareness-raising to communities on the importance of girls’ education and their rights, delivered by Girls’ Education Advisory Committees (GEACs). We have supported community involvement and ownership of the GEACs, structures which are designed to address discriminatory gender-biased attitudes that prevent girls from getting the education they deserve, and help whole communities understand the importance of equality. To that end, we discuss the cultural and societal origins of gender-discriminatory beliefs and practices, and their multi-layered impact on women and girls. Discrimination against girls’ learning is one of the major causes of inequality in education and a stark obstacle blocking the path to sustainable development. Equipping school administrators with strategies to train teachers to engage students with human rights training (including both civics and ethics) will help correct biased attitudes towards girls and their education. As Michelle Obama says, helping them to believe that, as girls, they are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as their male classmates, and enabling their access to the highest quality education possible, will create communities of audacious girls like Malala that say no to injustice, yes to tolerance and fight for the right of girls’ education.


UNDERSTANDING THE MOTIVES OF INTOLERANCE The U.K. Holocaust Educational Trust has a mission to educate about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. It has a lesson from all too recent history showing where intolerance can lead. HET Chief Executive, Karen Pollock describes her work and its objectives. In 1945, after the Second World War had ended, Josef Perl, a survivor of Auschwitz, returned to his home in Veliky Bochkov in Czechoslovakia. As he approached his family home, the door opened and a neighbour appeared. The neighbour pointed a shotgun at Josef and demanded to know what he wanted. Josef had hoped to find out if any of his family had somehow survived but the neighbour shouted at him to go, that the house belonged to him and his family now, and that Josef wasn’t welcome. He aimed his gun at Josef and spat ‘Get off my property Jew, or I’ll finish Hitler’s job for him...’ After the liberation of the camps, as the world began to understand the horrors of the Holocaust, there was a sense that antisemitism had been exposed for what it was, we had learned where it could lead, and it could never be a part of our society again. The experience of Josef and many others in returning to their home towns showed that antisemitism did not end with the Nazis – and sadly it continues to this day. All too often, we are confronted by such examples of intolerance. It may be physical attacks on minorities, or support for openly antisemitic and racist political parties, but there is also the everyday insidious propagation of messages of hate, whether in the street, the playground or the unregulated world of social media. The Holocaust is the best documented crime in history, its reality spelled out in the words of the perpetrators themselves, which are accessible at the click of a button, as well as in the indelible memories of the survivors.

hearing a survivor; or working in the classroom with the thousands of passionate and skilled teachers we equip with training and resources – the Trust offers meaningful steps which enable young people to reflect critically on issues of identity, behaviour and ethics raised by this complex historical event. By exploring the actions and choices of people involved in the Holocaust – victims, perpetrators, bystanders and the courageous minority of men and women who risked their lives to help Jews – students and teachers grapple with challenging questions which have implications for their understanding of the world around them and their place in it. After all, the Holocaust wasn’t committed by monsters or psychopaths. It was perpetrated by people who were, for the most part, ordinary – not too dissimilar from us. Understanding their motives is a powerful tool. This is what drives our work, seeking to ensure that the next generation have the chance to explore the history of the Holocaust, and to consider the consequences of antisemitism and intolerance so that they are better equipped to recognise and challenge them in the future.

Every year, Holocaust survivors share their testimony through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach Programme, reaching more than 100,000 young people across the country. They want to make sure that their stories, and those of their friends, families and communities who didn’t survive, are remembered. They also believe in the power of education to challenge intolerance. Of course, learning about the Holocaust cannot be a panacea for all of society’s ills. But it can go some way in sensitizing young people to today’s world. Whether it is through our Lessons from Auschwitz Project which takes 3,000 young people per year to visit the notorious site of the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau; or our Ambassador Programme, which enables these participants to become young advocates and to carry the memory of the past; or through To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

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FRAGILE WHEN THREATENED Rebecca Heron, Education and Outreach Manager for the Remembering Srebrenica organisation shares Karen Pollock’s aims. “We need to teach our children that differences should be cherished not feared.” As the education manager of UK charity, Remembering Srebrenica, I spend much of my working life educating young people about the importance of a cohesive community and helping to empower young people to feel able to challenge hatred where they see it. My work revolves around promoting acceptance and understanding of others, no matter their race, religion, gender or any other characteristic. In 2016, I visited Bosnia-Herzegovina for the first time to see the site of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide which saw over 8000 Muslim men and boys systematically killed, simply because of the group they belonged to. I spoke with survivors of Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo who repeatedly tell their stories in the hope that the world will remember what happened and learn from these events. We were guided by Remembering Srebrenica’s Bosnian Co-ordinator, Rešad Trbonja, who survived the Siege of Sarajevo, and his words, on the first day of our visit have stayed with me ever since. ‘In Bosnia-Herzegovina we were integrated, we lived next to our neighbours, but it wasn’t enough. We need to live with our neighbours, get to know their hopes and their fears to really prevent something like this from happening again’. I view tolerance in a similar way. On one level it is absolutely vital – we need to teach our young people to grow up to be understanding of different beliefs, races or political views. But on the other hand, it isn’t enough; tolerance is fragile when threatened. To really create a cohesive community, united against hatred, where all citizens feel safe, we need to cherish and celebrate the differences within our society. We need to teach our children that differences should be cherished not feared! That they strengthen our communities, providing diversity, different skills and different cultures that combine to make life more enjoyable, more interesting and allow us to learn from each other. We need to teach children to challenge stereotypes that are presented and perpetuated by the media, by getting to know our neighbours as human beings. Only then will we find countless similarities we didn’t know about – common interests, common hopes, common dreams –we need to look further than difference and division and focus instead on what we have in common. If we are able to do this, our children will live in a society that not only tolerates the people who live there with them, but truly accepts each person and values the diversity to which they contribute.

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These lessons are at the heart of the work of Remembering Srebrenica. The war in Bosnia was intimate; a conflict where the only way to know which ‘side’ someone was on was by knowing their name, and as a result it truly was a conflict where neighbour turned against neighbour. By educating students about Srebrenica, we can open discussions on religion, difference and hatred in our communities, and make a pledge to ensure that hatred is never left unchallenged again.


NO ONE OWNS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH The European Wergeland Centre is an Oslo based resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. For its Executive Director, Ana Perona-Fjeldstad, democracy depends crucially on tolerance and democracy starts at school. One of the primary purposes of education is to educate all young people to to learn to live together in a complex and changing world. Tolerance is key to our peaceful future. This has been recognized by world leaders in UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4.7, calling for more action to promote education for human rights, gender equality, culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity.

game” in a democracy. Schools can use this “institutional privilege” to provide children with a foundation of knowledge of and trust in democratic principles and mechanisms, trust in others as well as trust in their own capacity to take part in democratic governance of public affairs and institutions. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, once pointed out:” …It isn’t about teaching children what to think. It is about teaching them how to think. Can pupils summarise the different positions in a conflict? Can they identify the common ground? Do they know which rights are universal? Often the best way to teach people to live with difference, is to remind them what

makes us the same.” This calls for new challenges and roles for school education. Teaching critical thinking and tolerance of others’ ideas and beliefs should become one of the cornerstones of a 21st century education. To efficiently enjoy the evergrowing diversity in the world, schools need to teach also how to tolerate ambiguity. How to positively coexist with others, whose life styles or world views are different than mine. Because no one owns the absolute truth. The ability to understand and engage in dialogue with others whose opinions differ from one’s own is essential for protecting and strengthening democratic diverse societies going forward.

Alarming developments in many European countries with shrinking space for solidarity, make very clear the important role education must play in the prevention of all kinds of discrimination, intolerance and hate ideologies. Schools should be an environment where all children can learn to trust each other, cooperate and engage with others without fear. Trust, which lies at the bottom of any functioning democracy, starts at school. No child can be excluded from learning, based on others’ prejudices or stereotypes. Tolerance rests on equal opportunities and rights, including the right to a quality education and full-fledged participation at school. For many children, the school represents their first encounter with a public institution. In fact, the experiences they make in their schools have profound influence in forming them as citizens. They experience institutional governance, justice, rules and structures, accountability on the part of leaders and transparency in terms of decision making processes. Students may have the opportunity to experience the effects of their engagement too. In short: They learn the “rules of the To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

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ACROSS ALL BARRIERS “We were Jews and Arabs together, religious leaders and worshipers of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, parents and children, and of course the beloved teachers”. Randi Weingarten is President of the American Federation of Teachers. Education and tolerance – in her own words. These are challenging times for those of us who believe in civil society. Demagogical leaders are endangering the world beyond their own national borders. Israel has had to contend with a right-wing government longer than we have, where the prime minister especially foments societal division between Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens.

inspired us to create a solidarity project between our union and the teachers at these schools. Three years ago, the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School was attacked by a racist group called Lehava. The group firebombed a classroom after school hours, destroying desks and books, and leaving their signature hatefilled graffiti on the school walls.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover the Israeli school network called Hand in Hand. These schools play a unique role in Israel and show that education really can make a difference. At Hand in Hand schools, children study in both Hebrew and Arabic. Each classroom has a Jewish and an Arab teacher. Students learn each other’s history, share each other’s experiences and honor each other’s holidays.

The frightened school community returned to a charred campus the next morning, but with a resolve to fight back and grow their

We agreed to do our work jointly and started by bringing 12 Israeli teachers to Austin, Texas, to learn more about dual-language education. It doesn’t matter what the language is—the students can be taught English/Spanish or Arabic/Hebrew; the pedagogy and best practices translate across all language barriers.

The six Hand in Hand campuses educate more than 1,000 children. Several of these schools have waiting lists. Capacity for teacher training, sustainability and expansion are all key to allowing the schools to realize their full potential. I have visited the Hand in Hand schools several times, but it was my first visit that completely transformed the way I look at the potential of educational inclusion and equity in Israel. It

community. In this, they were joined by thousands of Israelis and Palestinians from all walks of life. I happened to be in Jerusalem at the time and joined a thousand other people of all backgrounds marching through Jerusalem neighborhoods that rarely see diversity. We were Jews and Arabs together, religious leaders and worshipers of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, parents and children, and of course the beloved teachers. People from all over Israel came to support the school. On that day, Jerusalem was truly seen as a beacon of hope as this troubled city came together in support of kids and tolerance. In the next few days, I sat with the teachers at

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the Jerusalem school, asking them what they needed the most. The teachers talked about their desire to scale up the schools, find the breathing space to create a pedagogy that would expand classroom space, and build their professional capacity.

Now, we are developing a teacher’s handbook for best practices, creating a pedagogical library and engaging both virtually and on the ground to continue our work together. Using methodology on restorative justice dialogue and practices, we are creating peer-group support systems for the teachers. For these schools to grow and to have an impact beyond the classroom, teachers need to be recognized as leaders in the community. In a society that is as bifurcated as Israel’s, the very fact that a student is studying with a teacher from a different background fosters respect for diversity and furthers teachers’ importance as role models and mentors. We are dedicated to working together to equip these teachers to take on that extra—and necessary—role that supports their students beyond the classroom walls and into the community.


EDUCATION

PROMOTING TOLERANCE – FOR 70 YEARS A HUMAN RIGHT Sabine Detzel, is ASPnet’s International Coordinator. In this inspiring article Sabine celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its demand for education to build understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations. Our Chief Executive Ann Beatty is the UNESCO Associated Schools Network National Co-ordinator for the UK, we’re working hard to attract more and more UK schools to join. My favourite sentence in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development1, which was adopted in 2015 by world leaders at the United Nations’ General Assembly, is the following: “We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence.” This promise can’t be fulfilled without tolerance. I don’t mean tolerance as a passive acceptance of different ways of thinking and living. Today, more than ever before, a “Live and Let Live” attitude, as peaceful and positive as it might seem at first sight, is not sufficient to prevent discrimination, exclusion, tensions and conflicts. UNESCO2 defines tolerance as “respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.” Education is the tool that helps us understand these principles and concepts, and teaches us why and how to use them every day. In addition to its traditional role of fulfilling individual and national aspirations, education must also contribute to building in each one of us a sense of belonging to the global community, and a collective responsibility and solidarity for our common humanity. This is what the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) aims to do. Its origins go back to 1953, when UNESCO launched a new “experimental program in education for living in a world community”. Nowadays, we call it Global Citizenship Education, but the central idea is still the same: how can we learn to live together? Associated schools participate in different UNESCO-led global projects as well as in national and local initiatives which stimulate multidisciplinary and intercultural learning in and out of the classroom on issues such as climate change, refugees, gender-based violence, and the preservation of cultural heritage, sustainable lifestyles or the mapping of local biodiversity. The network brings together schools, community groups and partner organizations across all regions to exchange knowledge and experiences, collaborate and build friendships.

members in 182 countries and spans all levels of the education system. As the network engages in its 65th year, millions of principals, teachers and students continue their efforts to explore new and diverse approaches to teach and learn to live together. They reflect, connect and exchange best practices in multiple languages through an online platform, videoconferences, social media or meetings, and actively promote what they learn in their communities. This year, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3, in which education for tolerance is explicitly mentioned. Article 26, on the right to education, says: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality (…). It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups (…).” We should use this anniversary as an opportunity to redouble our efforts towards transforming schools and education systems so that they can open the minds and hearts of students to these ideals. 1

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, United Nations,

2015

ASPnet membership is based on a firm commitment by the school leaders and the whole school community to promote the ideals and values of UNESCO. The network currently has more than 11,500

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2

Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, UNESCO, 1995

3

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948

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NOW MORE THAN EVER Ema Jackson is Campaign Manager of Send My Friend to School – a UK coalition of international development NGOs, teachers’ unions and charities jointly campaigning to demand quality education for all children across the globe. The Steve Sinnott Foundation is a key member of this coalition.

Quality education is a vitally important safeguard against the kind of intolerance that prevents people with different views, experiences, backgrounds and identities from living and working together valuing and respecting each other’s lives, hopes and feelings.

more. Also in 2017, in partnership with the Steve Sinnott Foundation, we selected two young women from the Gambia to act as Young Ambassadors for the campaign. They visited the UK for two weeks. It was fantastic to watch them build links with the UK campaigners and engage in powerful reciprocal learning. Back in the Gambia, they’re sharing their experience and helping to stimulate more young people in the international drive for quality education for all.

At Send My Friend to School we work to facilitate campaigning for global education by young people in the UK. We want to see the 264 million children who are currently missing out getting to go to school and we believe that empowering young people to campaign in solidarity with others creates invaluable understanding and tolerance across borders.

In January of this year we launched our new campaign for 2018. We’re calling it Make Schools Safe.

In 2017 Send My Friend ran its Missing Piece campaign calling on the UK government to invest more in education around the world. More than 300,000 young people got involved – creating messages for their MPs, holding events, contacting the local papers and much

Schools should always be safe havens, but for millions of children around the world affected by armed conflict, there is still the daily risk that their schools may be places of violence and danger. Tolerance is needed now more than ever.

So as we campaign to Make Schools Safe, thousands of young people in the UK will be creating paper safety signs and presenting them to their Members of Parliament to call on the UK government to sign the Safe Schools Declaration. This is an international political commitment to do more to protect schools during armed conflict. The declaration has been signed by 72 countries including the UK’s allies, France and Canada. The UK has not yet signed. With 264 million children experiencing some form of school violence every year, we need as many schools, teachers and young people to get involved as possible so that our message is heard. Our Teachers’ Pack contains lots of information to bring the campaign to life in the classroom including videos, case studies and activity sheets. It’s available for download at sendmyfriend.org/take-action. In these uncertain times, it can feel like the world is getting less and less tolerant. When this gets me down, I think of the Send My Friend youth campaigners working together and creating change for the better – if our future is in their hands my confidence is restored.

A message from our friends at Think Global

IS A TEACHER AT YOUR SCHOOL THE 2018 GLOBAL EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR?

Do you know an educator who has found creative ways to engage young people in global learning? Has this person raised awareness about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals amongst their students and/or the whole school? Have they inspired students to take action on a certain issue? If the answer is yes – then you should nominate this person to win the Global Educator of the Year Award 2018! It’s time we celebrate teachers and the amazing work they do to create our world’s future global citizens. Those who teach young people are important role models and can have huge influence, motivating and encouraging action for positive social change. Teachers who integrate global learning and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their everyday work are equipping young people with the understanding, attitudes and behaviour that will allow for their success in a global facing Britain, and enable them to contribute fully as global citizens.

GET INVOLVED AND NOMINATE! We welcome nominations of classroom teachers, teaching assistants, school governors, head teachers, and anyone who works in the broader field of education. Go to the Think Global website: https://think-global.org.uk/our-work/schools-teachers/global-educator-of-the-yearaward for more information and to download a nomination form and send to schools@think-global.org.uk by Friday 11th May 2018. • Winner and runner up will be notified mid-June. • Award presentation ceremony will take place in July at a central London location.

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Here is a summary of some of the projects the Foundation is supporting this year The Gambia – A Provision of Sanitary Protection programme will enable girls to go to school. Teachers in the Gambia have a mission to achieve an innovative solution for menstrual hygiene through the production of high quality re-usable sanitary pads that are both comfortable and environmentally and cost-friendly. They will train 600 girls initially in the only girls’ school in the Gambia, and then train 80 teachers who in turn will train more girls and young women to produce their own sanitary pads. This will enable girls to attend school regularly, participate in community life and take part in social activities. It is estimated that this project will have an impact on 24,000 young women in the Gambia for a low cost. The Gambia – Gender Pedagogy Training for Women Teachers. The Gambia Teachers Union and The African Women in Education Network (AWEN) are working together to provide a platform whereby women teachers and educational workers share experiences on gender equality issues and strengthen solidarity among them.The network also builds the capacity of women to acquire leadership skills so as to take up leadership positions. The Foundation is also supporting Gender Advocacy Workshops to increase the knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues among teachers and educators. This Gender Training and Advocacy programme is scheduled for June 2018 in The Gambia. It will provide training for 35 teachers, educators and gender officers from the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone with the aim of enhancing knowledge and understanding in gender equality issues and to share experiences. Ethiopia – Gender Pedagogy Training. Essential training and mentoring for over 19,000 primary and secondary teachers in gender responsive pedagogy across four rural districts of Wolaita Zone, a densely- populated region of Ethiopia 330 km southwest of Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is rated 174 out of 188 countries in the UN

Human Development Index with 71% of the population living below the poverty line. Sierra Leone – Transforming education through teacher training and the provision of learning materials. This is a project to support essential teacher training and the provision of learning materials for children and teaching equipment for teachers in 35 remote rural communities that currently have no access to effective schooling. Each school will receive infrastructure support. In particular this will involve school extensions to ensure that 4-6 classes are provided for each community. 3,000 children will immediately benefit from improved primary education through this project, and the sustainability of the work is intended to benefit thousands more children in these communities for years to come. In Sierra Leone less than half of all children reach secondary school and learning outcomes in the eastern province, the first part of Sierra Leone to be ravaged by Ebola in 2014, are the lowest of all regions. Currently an estimated 89,000 children aged 6-14 are not going to school. Learning Resource Centres Haiti The learning resource centre in Haiti is almost fully operational. We are expecting further resources such as computers, musical instruments and science and robotics kits to be delivered in June. 100 teachers are in phase 3 studying for their Teaching Certificate. Their feedback has been very positive. Nepal We will be opening another learning resource centre in Nepal later this year in partnership with Manisha Nepal and Manisha UK. We are looking for sponsors. Each centre, once set up, can be supported for a relatively low and cost effective sum each year, to maintain teaching and learning resources. The centres will support more children to access a quality education. To find out more about sponsoring a Centre please get in touch at admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk or call us on 01923 230208.

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The STEVE SINNOTT FOUNDATION

RAISING FUNDS Of course we need money for our work. Here are a few examples of how our enthusiastic supporters help us to raise funds. The Denham Divas are now singing to raise funds for musical instruments for Haiti, Sahbi Benzid and Stanborough school have developed robotics kits for Haiti. Nefa Nessa ran the marathon, Colin Powesland and Steve Ryan cycled 100 miles, Ingrid Khedun and Anne Lane swam the Serpentine and our friends at the Cardiff branch of the National Union of Teachers did a sponsored walk. Huge thanks to all of them and to our teacher organisation supporters in the UK. So there are lots ways to get involved and support our work. And it doesn’t have to involve stamina. You can be a regular supporter by becoming a Friend of the Foundation with a standing order completed on our website at www.stevesinnottfoundatin.org.uk or by downloading a form from the website or requesting one by email or post. You can also make single donations through our website or simply by texting EDFA 16 to 70070.

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Sign up your school to become a Steve Sinnott Foundation Education for All Awareness school. Sign up your school to sing and record our Education for All campaign song “A Better Place to Be”. Download the song from our website. Help with teaching resources, lesson plans etc to be supplied to schools through the Resource Centres. Follow us on our social network platforms and contribute your ideas and share our posts to help spread the word – details below. Join our storytelling programme and share tales about the positive power of education around the world. And much more – whatever you can think of.......... Please follow us and like and share our news with your friends on our Social Media Platforms On Instagram: ssfoundation On Twitter: SSFoundation On Facebook: http://facebook.com/stevesinnottfoundation OnTumblr: http://stevesinnottfoundation.tumblr.com/ On YouTube: http://youtube.com/sinnottfoundation

To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk


To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

A THEME TUNE FOR TOLERANCE Dr. Tony Sewell CBE is Chief Executive of Generating Genius an organisation which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Tolerance is a strange word and often we need to make a distinction between living next to each other and living together. In many ways ‘tolerance’ is simply living next door or side by side with those with different colours and cultures. This year is the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Windrush to Tilbury docks. This was Britain’s first example of post-world war mass immigration, when Britain invited workers from the Caribbean to come to Britain to help in post war recovery.

danced to their music of Ska and Reggae. The other point was sex. They were also sleeping together and having children. We now have one of the largest mixed-race populations in Europe. This was a far cry from a multi-cultural nirvana. Black men continued to be oppressed by the police and Black youth were kept in the bottom of their schools. It would take a lot of fighting and campaigning to bend Britain into a more tolerant flower.

However, white Britain began to change and would never be the same. Recently I bought a group of Jamaican drama school students to the UK. They visited the Windrush landing site in memory of their ancestors who left Jamaica in 1948. They performed a Shakespeare play at a local high school, which was predominantly white. It was appropriate as the audience was being seated to play ‘Exodus’ by Bob Marley. Once the high school children heard the tune they began to dance, as if this was their theme tune. It was clear that this new generation hadn’t lost its appetite for matters Jamaican. Their connection would be through the internet, they were the consumers of brand Jamaica. Unlike their ancestors they are more ‘tolerant ‘ of a diverse culture.

In many ways this was a ‘botched’ social policy. The British government actively advertised in the Caribbean for these workers to come to the ‘homeland’ but made no preparation to receive them. They were expected to make their own way, in terms of finding jobs and housing. They also faced an intolerant host population who saw them as a threat. The host population were not prepared for this new migration and Caribbean people were given no orientation . The social history of this period has been one that has rightly focused on the negative narrative of a downtrodden Caribbean community facing an intolerant local white mass, who wanted them to go back home. However, what is often missed out is how well that Caribbean community ‘integrated’ into mainstream British society, yet still retaining their own culture and identity. What is remarkable is that in terms of popular culture and social tolerance we saw black and white living together rather than side by side. There were key reasons why this was possible. The new immigrants spoke English, were mainly Christian and everyone

Dr. Kishore Singh is an International Law Expert and also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education.

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The STEVE SINNOTT FOUNDATION

DIVERSITY NEEDS MORE THAN TOLERATION Samidha Garg, International Relations Officer for the NUT section of the National Education Union in England and Wales, questions whether “tolerance” is enough to value diversity

The global population is vast, varied and diverse. From religion, to ability, to gender, to race, and every other ‘defining’ characteristic, the world is built on diversity. It is the very foundation of life. This diversity is something, however, that should not just be ‘tolerated’. In the sense that many people think of this word, one tolerates tiresome people, frustrating commutes, door-todoor sales. One begrudgingly accepts these as realities of life; unavoidable but not wholly unacceptable. Is this how diversity, the essence of humanity, should be treated? As Jo Cox, the MP said ‘we have more in common than that divides us’. So we should start with our common humanity and then look at differences and our diversity. But, diversity

should be celebrated and respected. And the place to begin this celebration and respect is in the classroom.

the important benefits of diversity. In the increasingly interconnected global future, to use a rather tired cliché, being open to working with all kinds of people will be key. Recognising, embracing and maximising on the different strengths, backgrounds, cultures and abilities of all will be the key to unlocking the true potential of the global youth. The only way to begin this is to start early, in the classroom.

Education is, as is so often touted, the cornerstone of society. The UN’s Delors Commission noted that ‘education is at the heart of both personal and community development.’ As such, there is no better place to begin celebrating the diversity of humanity than at school. Children must learn to embrace and respect the differences around and between them and their peers, rather than simply tolerate them.

There are many excellent resources that enable teachers to take this approach with their students. From the World’s Largest Lesson’s resources on the Global Goals, to Remembering Srebrenica’s ‘similarities and differences’ workshops, to the National Education Union’s publication titled ‘Welcoming refugee children to your school’, just to name a few, there are numerous ways to ensure that the celebration of diversity begins in the classroom.

Educators should be encouraged to actively support, respect and celebrate differences, encouraging children from a young age to see

The present and future successes of the global community and all its citizens depend on this approach.

UNESCO ASPnet The Steve Sinnott Foundation acts as the UK co-ordinator for the the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) which links educational institutions across the world around a common goal: to build the defences of peace in the minds of children and young people. The 10,000 ASPnet member schools in over 180 countries work in support of international understanding, peace, intercultural dialogue, sustainable development and quality education in practice. ASPnet – a driver for innovation and quality in education – is recognized as an effective tool for reaching target 4.7 on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030.

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Through the following Thematic Action Areas which are aligned to SDG 4: 1. Global Citizenship – culture of peace – nonviolence 2. Sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles 3. Intercultural learning – appreciation of cultural diversity and heritage ASPnet uses three complementary approaches: 1. Creating: As a laboratory of ideas, ASPnet develops, tests and disseminates innovative educational materials and promotes new teaching and learning approaches based on UNESCO’s core values and priorities. 2. Teaching & Learning: Capacity-building, innovative teaching and participative learning in specific ASPnet thematic areas allow

school principals, teachers, students and the wider school community to integrate UNESCO’s values and become role models in their community and beyond. 3. Interacting: ASPnet gives its stakeholders opportunities to connect and exchange experiences, knowledge and good practices with schools, individuals, communities, policy-makers and society as a whole. If you would like to find out more or apply for accreditation for your school please visit https://aspnet.unesco.org/en-us/Pages/ Default.aspx or email unescoaspnet@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk


FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S DESK This year is the 10th anniversary of the death of Steve Sinnott. He is remembered for his international, as well as his national work to secure the best for children and teachers. Steve believed that every child, everywhere, should have access to quality education. He campaigned during his lifetime for this to become a reality for all children. The Foundation was set up following Steve’s death to continue to build upon the legacy he left behind. We maintain his values and continue to work alongside some of the world’s most marginalised people. We have established a great team of people, working hard towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 and we sincerely hope that Steve would be proud of our achievements so far. The theme of this edition of ENGAGE is tolerance. Tolerance is to me a very odd word in so much as it can be surprisingly difficult to define. The dictionary definition is: the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with. For me, opening our hearts and minds and embracing and celebrating differences would be a much better definition of what we should all be striving for. Surely finding common ground with others, ways of learning from each other and understanding each other would make the world a better and fairer place. I feel I am in a very privileged position as I have been able to travel a fair bit and this has afforded me no better education in terms of opening my eyes to the possibilities in others and learning from them. In Haiti and Cuba recently I met the Unesco Aspnet coordinators and they shared with me invaluable lessons through the work they are currently doing which we can replicate here in the U.K. Education should encourage children to have an open mind, be curious, questioning and accepting of people’s right to have different views and to be different. Tolerance is not just about accepting differences in race, religion, gender, ability or class. Any one or all of those things can come into play. We all have unconscious biases, whether we are aware of them or not, based on our values, upbringing, education and life experiences. We should be consciously questioning ourselves about how we see the world. Is this right? Is it real? Is it fair? Such questioning is all the more important today in the world of social media and fake news, but let’s not forget that fake news has always been around. It’s just much more accessible now. Educating to challenge prejudice and injustice and to foster understanding amongst people is certainly not a new idea. Aristotle said, “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Educators understand that when the mind and heart are educated humanity can flourish in all its diversity.

Intolerance can be experienced in many spheres; in the classroom, workplace and even in the home. Intolerance can be met by anyone who is deemed “different” and may not enjoy the privileges that some of us have come to expect in our lives. We still have a long way to go in achieving tolerance in the way people are able to live their lives and in the rights they are afforded. We do have evidence of how, through education, progress has been made. This year sees 100 years of women having the right to vote in the UK and we have been celebrating the work of the Suffragettes. These women were not tolerated in their time, but their work was essential for the progress of women today. Their legacy has very recently inspired millions of women around the world to march and speak out to highlight the obstacles and intolerance they still face. I feel confident that this movement will impact positively to enhance the educational opportunities of girls worldwide. Governments worldwide now know that tolerance and understanding are prerequisites of peaceful, equable societies. Some world leaders, politicians and peace makers have striven to find solutions to problems surrounding tolerance. Despite all the continuing news of conflict, we are making progress to a more peaceful world and we now have anniversaries of historic peace accords to celebrate. As we look back at these events we should ask how these agreements have been achieved? How do we prevent hatred in our schools and our communities? Fostering understanding must be the way forward for our children’s futures. The world is a much smaller place due to improvements in technology and we are now able to travel to and even see places and people thousands of miles away without leaving the comfort of our own home, office or classroom. We can readily share learning and partner with educators on the other side of the world. This is key to fostering tolerance. I believe it is by opening our hearts and minds to others that we will affect change and that is reflected in the way we work at the Foundation. As we all remember Steve, let us follow his belief that by working together we can win together. Tolerance in its true sense is achievable.

If you would like to advertise in our next edition of ENGAGE please call us on 01923230208 or email ann.beatty@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

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To comment on this article, email admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

Engage 16 spring 2016  

Education thrives in a tolerant world. In this edition contributors including Jonathan Dimbleby, Karen Pollock, Rebecca Heron, Randi Weingar...

Engage 16 spring 2016  

Education thrives in a tolerant world. In this edition contributors including Jonathan Dimbleby, Karen Pollock, Rebecca Heron, Randi Weingar...

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