Education of Minorities and Peace Education in Pluralistic Societies

Education of Minorities and Peace Education in Pluralistic Societies

Education of Minorities and Peace Education in Pluralistic Societies

Education of Minorities and Peace Education in Pluralistic Societies

Synopsis

The existence of minorities will grow in most countries of the world because of sociopolitical upheaval and economic crisis, both of which result in waves of migration. Contributors to this volume discuss the task of education to alleviate the problems arising from the mix of peoples of various ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds.

Excerpt

This book provides an international perspective on two major and interrelated issues—minorities and peace—and the relationship between them and education. It is assumed that minorities' rights extend beyond the basic rights of life and liberty to include cultural, economic, social, political, and educational equality. Education is not only a human right but might be viewed as encompassing, sanctioning, and guaranteeing all other rights. Education should be charged with the responsibility of informing people of their other responsibilities and their rights. It should impart awareness of rights and oppose their denial whether by oppressive laws or inappropriate traditions. Thus, indeed, the various chapters in this book present a dual perspective of education about minorities and the rights of minorities with regard to education. These two perspectives propose that without respecting the dignity and rights of minorities, whether indigenous peoples or immigrants, no meaningful peaceful coexistence within societies and between societies or nation- states is possible. Intolerance, xenophobia, violence, and terrorism increase in times of economic recession, denial of rights, and exclusion of minority groups by denying equality of educational and economic opportunities, legal rights, and cultural recognition. This in turn causes the rise of political groups that are driven by a combination of racism and xenophobia and that are prevalent in many European and other countries. The United Nations and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) proclaimed the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations (Resolution 53/22 of November 4, 1998, of the General Assembly of the United Nations). The Report of the director general of UNESCO stated:

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