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13 March, 2008

Call for increased citizenship education heard among the hubbub

The suggestion that the passage to British citizenship includes an oath of allegiance to the Queen has provoked fierce criticism. Amid this furore it's been hard to find a sober examination of the issues addressed by Lord Goldsmith's recent citizenship review.

It's refreshing then to see the leader article in yesterday's Guardian recognise the key role of citizenship education in this process, and in particular its acknowledgement of the need for Citizenship to be statutory on the primary curriculum.

'The institutions that linked the individual to the public realm are in long-term decline', it argues. 'Classroom time must be set aside to teach children about how democracy works.

'Since 2002 such tuition has been on the secondary curriculum, but Lord Goldsmith is right to suggest that it should be required in primary schools as well.'

We agree. And because effective citizenship-rich practice has proven to serve as a mechanism for school improvement in the secondary phase, with benefits for the curriculum, the culture of the school, and the schools links with its community, there seems little reason not to extend the same benefit to primary schools.

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From Edmond Michaels - London
I met Lord Goldsmith at the said conference and expressed my personal views to him about the real role of the parents in educating their children about British citizenship before they are admitted to primary schools. The core of such education should begin from home and the parents should (would) play a major and key role in the lives of their children by either strengthening the spirit of citizenship and their self-belonging to socially integrated communities or else brainwashing their minds to enhance exclusion and segregation through poisonous elements of hatred and disbelief of the values of the Western culture.My 45 experience has taught a lesson that I can stand up to my conviction and say without hesitation that no one can ever win the minds and the hearts of these inharmonious people through political correctness no matter at what cost but through making them truly and transparently understand their responsibilities and duties as well as their rights in a free and democratic society. The values of these people can only bring fruitful results when they begin to rely on their inner-direction respecting the social values of the host culture rather than the ill values imposed on them by the outsiders who aim to plant the seeds of violence and terror.

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