Bahrain plans patriotism lessons in schools
Manama, June 11, 2013
Bahrain is to introduce patriotism into its curriculum in an attempt to prevent violence in schools, a report said.
The government is working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) as part of efforts to emphasise unity, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The government has recorded 192 acts of sabotage against educational facilities in the last 12 months that has cost state more than BD2 million ($5.23 million).
Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi said introducing patriotism into the classroom could play a key role in stopping attacks.
"The ministry is working to develop its programmes and curriculum to overcome violence and sabotage," he said at the opening of the National Symposium on the Role of the Educational Institution in Facing Violence and Sabotage.
"It has already joined efforts with Unesco and the education office in Geneva to seek expertise in ways to develop our patriotism curriculum. Such efforts aim to overcome violence witnessed in Bahrain's schools and emphasise unity among students."
The three-day event, taking place at the Education Ministry Hall in Isa Town, is being organised by the Bahrain Educational, Scientific and Cultural Commission (BESCC) in co-operation with Islamic, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO).
Dr Al Nuaimi repeated earlier figures that ministry experts had treated more than 5,200 students suffering the consequences of physical and psychological violence since the unrest. "Some of these students are still going through counselling," he said.
Unesco studies showed violence in schools threatened the entire community. "Such studies have been taken into consideration by the ministry because if violence is not addressed it can exceed to become dangerous," said Dr Al Nuaimi.
"The community can be affected by other institutes within it and hence we all have a responsibility to face violence."
Meanwhile, ISESCO expert Dr Abdulaziz Al Jabouri told the GDN the symposium aimed to highlight issues of violence in schools across the region, not only in Bahrain.
"The ISESCO serves 58 countries and this symposium seeks to discuss violence and sabotage and protect against them happening," he said.
"Sabotage and violence are not restricted to one country or one community, but it is seen worldwide. The aim here is to prevent it from happening in the first place and if it already did, put into effect the role of schools in stopping such acts among students."
Dr Al Jabouri will be presenting three key papers during the event, one discussing the role of media in preventing violence and two others focusing on recommendations to protect educational institutions from attack.
"I think the most important thing is raising awareness on an educational level and establish a committee to review the current curriculum to include subjects on violence," he said. "The recommendations can be adopted by Bahrain as it will be general to all schools and educational institutes in the region, whether it faces such acts or want to prevent them."
Preventing violence starts at home, where parents raise their children properly, said Dr Al Jabouri.
"But there is no 100 per cent guarantee that families will do their duty to raise their children against violence," he said. "That is why the school is very important in fixing such upbringing."
More than 300 education experts and specialists are taking part in the event and recommendations will be issued at the conclusion of the event. – TradeArabia News Service
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