Colleges minister rebuffs calls to decolonise English curriculum


The Schools minister, Nick Gibb, has pushed again in opposition to calls to decolonise the curriculum in England and has warned that what pupils be taught within the classroom shouldn’t be tailor-made to anybody specific group.

Amid mounting pressure to make the educating of black history obligatory in colleges and to diversify the national curriculum, the minister stated there was no motive why youngsters from ethnic minorities mustn’t examine the work of lifeless white males.

In a speech to the Social Market Basis thinktank on Wednesday, Gibb stated a “knowledge-rich” curriculum taught properly was “inclusive and various” and would be sure that pupils discovered concerning the struggles and achievements of individuals from all races.

He stated: “We is not going to create a extra harmonious, tolerant and equal society by selling a curriculum primarily based on relevance to or representativeness of anybody group. Nor will we accomplish that by being ashamed of who we’re and the place we got here from.

“A curriculum primarily based on relevance to pupils is to disclaim them an introduction to the ‘greatest that has been thought and stated’. And, in fact, there is no such thing as a motive why the work of a ‘lifeless white man’ isn’t applicable for youngsters from ethnic minorities to find out about.”

The Department for Education has resisted calls to make the teaching of black history obligatory, insisting that the curriculum already permits for educating black historical past and contains black and ethnic minority voices and experiences. Black historical past will likely be be obligatory in Welsh schools from subsequent yr to assist pupils grow to be “knowledgeable residents of the world”.

Gibb additionally expressed concern about experiences of what he described as “violent and indignant protests” in colleges across the nation, sparked by current occasions in Gaza. Escalation within the Center East battle triggered a wave of pro-Palestinian protests by pupils, a few of whom later complained they have been accused of antisemitism and subjected to disciplinary motion.

He stated younger folks needs to be given all of the information to assist them perceive the state of affairs in Israel and Palestine and warned: “We should be on our guard to make sure that colleges don’t grow to be centres of one-sided propaganda, or a hostile surroundings for younger folks of any religion or faith.”

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