Education International
Education International

EI welcomes new UNESCO initiative on teaching respect for all

published 25 January 2012 updated 27 January 2012

Concerned about the increasing cases of racism, xenophobia and intolerance in many parts of the world, UNESCO, with the support of the Brazilian and United States (US) governments, has launched a new project to promote learning to live together.

The project, called “Teaching Respect for All”, was launched by Ms Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, together with Ms Esther Brimmer, the US Assistant Secretary of Department of State and Mr Marios Lisboa Theodoro, a representative of the Brazilian Government, in Paris on 18 January 2012. The launch event was attended by around 200 participants, who included policy makers, professionals/academics, students, EI and other civil society organisations.

The project considers education as key to strengthening the foundations of tolerance and reducing discrimination and violence. It targets children and young people in their formative years through educational materials and curricula. To this end, UNESCO intends to develop a curriculum framework for anti-racism and tolerance, for adaptation and use by national governments.

Intervening in a panel discussion at the launch event, Dennis Sinyolo, EI Senior Coordinator for Education and Employment, stressed the important role education and teachers can play in fighting all forms of discrimination and in promoting democracy, tolerance, peace, inclusion and intercultural understanding.  “Education can help break the cycle of racism, xenophobia and intolerance and foster peaceful co-existence”, he said.

Sinyolo went on to urge UNESCO to adopt a holistic approach by ensuring that the new project addressed all forms of discrimination. He also urged UNESCO, the project partners and policy makers to involve teacher unions in the development of the envisaged curriculum framework and to ensure that teachers receive the requisite training and professional development in teaching respect for all.

To find out more about the UNESCO-Brazil-USA project, please follow the link below:


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