At this time when the Black Lives Matter campaign has brought the issues of discrimination, inequality and conflict within society very much to the fore, many people are demanding that the school curriculum should help prepare the next generation to be respectful, understanding and supportive of all in society. Civilized toleration of differences is not a social democratic ambition for a peaceful society, it is a pre-condition. It must prevail.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives matter Campaign. We recognise our collective responsibility in raising awareness of white privilege. We commit to continuing to review our approach so that we are able to improve our support to educators, enabling them to design a curriculum that promotes a decolonized, shared global history, providing a catalyst for liberation from oppression and systemic racism. We need to find a way to focus on human commonalities while simultaneously embracing differences in appearances, culture, values, and experiences.
The school curriculum must help learners build a new, fair, global society. Can a school curriculum be designed in such a way that it can help combat, entrenched inequity and inequality?
The Curriculum Foundation has been at the forefront of the design of such a curriculum for the last ten years.
During that time, we have helped governments and schools in a range of countries where the resolution of conflict and the avoidance of discrimination have been of paramount importance, and where a spirit of tolerance, peace and reconciliation needs to be fostered. The names of some of these countries still resonate with the conflicts they have faced, and in some cases, still face: Rwanda, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria. Other countries where we work also have, or have had, tensions and issues between different groups that need resolving: Uganda, Zambia, the Palestinian Authorities, Brazil, Sudan, Morocco and Jamaica and in the UK.
We are committed to supporting the aims of the 2030 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015. The SDGs are an ambitious agenda to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality over the next 15 years. It promises a better future for all. Goal 4 for Quality Education includes the target to ‘ensure all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote a culture of peace and non-violence and develop an appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.’
We do not have a set curriculum that we take to different countries, but we have a solution focused approach that enables each country or school to develop its own curriculum that reflects and serves its community: its needs, its people, its culture, its heritage and its context. Always at the heart of the curriculum will be a focus on our core values of peaceful co-existence, respect, understanding, empathy and a total rejection of all discrimination and violence.
If you want to find out more about how we do this, please visit our website at www.curriculumfoundation.org. We are a not-for-profit non-government organisation with a mission to help “Every young person to leave school with the confidence, the ability and the desire to make the world a better place.”
Please help us in opposing racism, discrimination, inequality and violence wherever it might be found for peace and prosperity for all.