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CURRICULUM REFORM AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

In post-conflict societies, decades of violence often lead to hatred, vengeance, and fear among the population, as well as the perpetuation of myths that vilify or victimize specific groups. These perceptions and experiences of trauma are transferred across generations, breeding ongoing cycles of conflict and preventing the realization of sustainable peace. Education can play a key role in either disrupting or perpetuating these harmful patterns.

Project Overview

Context

Formal and informal history and civic education for children and teenagers can contribute to debunking myths and stereotypes that surround groups based on their ethnic, religious or national identities and can establish dialogues that support equality, justice and peace.

Project Details

The GIJTR project on Curriculum Reform seeks to examine the ways in which changing the way history is taught to students in schools can contribute to breaking the cross-generational cycles of trauma and cultures of violence, while contributing to durable peace and social cohesion. Project partners will draw lessons from countries such as Rwanda, South Africa, Indonesia and Cambodia that have undertaken formal curriculum reform processes and therefore transformed their official national course programs for students. The project will also draw lessons from civil society organizations (CSOs) in other countries such as Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, and Albania that have created informal programs to support peace and promote a culture of human rights among youth, and have relevant lessons to share for state-sponsored history and civic education reform.

GIJTR partners

International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC)

Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)

Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam)

Humanitarian Law Center (HLC)

Context

Formal and informal history and civic education for children and teenagers can contribute to debunking myths and stereotypes that surround groups based on their ethnic, religious or national identities and can establish dialogues that support equality, justice and peace.

Project Details

The GIJTR project on Curriculum Reform seeks to examine the ways in which changing the way history is taught to students in schools can contribute to breaking the cross-generational cycles of trauma and cultures of violence, while contributing to durable peace and social cohesion. Project partners will draw lessons from countries such as Rwanda, South Africa, Indonesia and Cambodia that have undertaken formal curriculum reform processes and therefore transformed their official national course programs for students. The project will also draw lessons from civil society organizations (CSOs) in other countries such as Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, and Albania that have created informal programs to support peace and promote a culture of human rights among youth, and have relevant lessons to share for state-sponsored history and civic education reform.

Project Objectives

Analyze approaches, successes, challenges and key lessons learned from formal curriculum reform processes and informal education programs targeting children in grade school, middle school and high school in countries emerging from conflict or authoritarian regimes.

18 case studies analyzing best practices and key lessons learned in relation to curriculum reform, transitional justice and atrocity prevention will be developed by partners in diverse contexts.

Encourage exchange and learning on curriculum reform best practices amongst CSOs, educators and other key stakeholders working on educational initiatives that aim to disrupt cyclical patterns of violence and the cross-generational transfer of trauma.

Forty CSOs representatives, educators and other key stakeholders will share best practices for curriculum reform based on experiences in formal and informal education as part of a three-day virtual event.

Development of Global Recommendations on Curriculum Reform

A resource paper with a series of practical and adaptable recommendations on curriculum reform and transitional justice will be developed, to be shared with GIJTR partners’ broad networks of local partners and activists across multiple regions.

Teachers and professionals from the State Education Network in Brazil participated in a training on human rights and citizenship held by the Auschwitz Institute for peace and Reconciliation, in partnership with the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) and the State Secretariat for Education and Science and Technology (Seect), in 2020. Photo Credit: Núcleo de Preservação da Memória Política
Children’s Court, an interactive exhibit that uses play to introduce children to South Africa’s judicial system. Photo credit: Constitution Hill.
Student at the Yuyanapaq exhibition. Photo credit: Colegio Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Miraflores, Peru.
Free Zone Junior Documentary film workshop. Photo credit: Fond B92
Students providing help to displaced communities. Photo credit: MUPI.