20/10/2005

Human rights central to citizenship - Minister

Human rights are central to citizenship and have an important role to play in moving Northern Ireland towards an equal, just and peaceful future.

That was the message from Education Minister, Angela Smith, at today's cross-border conference on Human Rights Education in Dublin.

Speaking to the invited audience of teachers, teacher trainers, policy makers and those involved in developing curricula from both sides of the border, the Minister said: "The new curriculum has an underpinning value of equality, justice and human rights to encourage pupils to respect their rights and responsibilities and the rights and responsibilities of others.

"The new curriculum will place a greater emphasis on providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need for life beyond the classroom and that citizenship, including human rights education, will be a key element of the revised statutory curriculum."

The Minister went on to explain the new approach to the curriculum: "By highlighting skills as well as knowledge we are drawing a direct line between the young people in our classrooms and their future roles as employers and employees, voters and volunteers, parents and even teachers," she said.

"The old approach focused too much on simply giving students information and imparting knowledge and facts we felt they needed to know. The new curriculum will do this but also give young people the space to explore, to inquire, to develop themselves. I believe this vision is empowering and exciting both for teachers and for young people."

Thursday's conference was hosted by the Irish Human Rights Commission, the Northern Irish Human Rights Commission and the 'Lift Off' cross-border Primary Human Rights Education initiative.

(MB/SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 May 2021
A New Green Deal Would Create 50,000 Green Jobs - Alliance
A Green New Deal for Northern Ireland would create 50,000 green jobs as well as bringing a range of changes addressing environmental, societal and economic changes, according to Alliance MLA Andrew Muir. The North Down MLA was speaking after the Assembly backed an Alliance motion calling for the Executive to introduce a policy.
22 June 2021
Man Arrested In Connection With Ammunition Seizure
Police in Belfast have arrested a 55-year-old in connection with an ammunition seizure. The man was detained on suspicion of possessing ammunition in suspicious circumstances after the seizure was made during a search operation in the New Lodge area of Belfast.
21 June 2021
DUP To Elect New Leader On 26 June
The DUP are set to elect a new leader on Saturday 26 June, Party Chairman Lord Marrow has confirmed. A new leader is being sought following the resignation of Edwin Poots after just 21 days. Lord Marrow said: "The Party Officers have set the date of Saturday 26th June as the date for a meeting to elect a new leader.
21 June 2021
New Leader Must Not Be Allowed To 'Choreograph Collapse Of Stormont'
The new leader of the DUP cannot be allowed to "choreograph the collapse of the institutions at Stormont", SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said. Mr Eastwood said there is increasing public anger with self-interested parties with an addiction to a politics of constant crisis.
17 June 2021
PwC To Create 771 New Jobs With £40m NI Investment
PwC are set to create 771 new technology and operational jobs with an investment of £40million in a new Advanced Research and Engineering Centre, Economy Minister Paul Frew has announced. The new centre is part of PwC's fastest-growing division, Operate, which is based in Belfast.