Schools must teach colo­nial his­tory: UK Oppn leader Cor­byn

Millennium Post - - Mp World -

LON­DON: Bri­tain's Op­po­si­tion Labour Party on Thurs­day called for the legacy of the Bri­tish Em­pire and the im­pact of colo­nial­ism on coun­tries like In­dia to be taught in schools across the UK.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn said such a cur­ricu­lum change was all the more im­por­tant in the wake of the re­cent Win­drush scan­dal, in­volv­ing Com­mon­wealth cit­i­zens be­ing wrongly de­nied their cit­i­zen­ship rights in the UK.

He also un­veiled plans for an Eman­ci­pa­tion Ed­u­ca­tional Trust, which would help ed­u­cate school­child­ren about the im­pact of slav­ery and the bat­tle to end the slave trade, as part of an event in Bris­tol to mark Oc­to­ber as Black His­tory Month.

"In the light of the Win­drush scan­dal, Black His­tory Month has taken on a re­newed sig­nif­i­cance and it is more im­por­tant now than ever that we learn and un­der­stand as a so­ci­ety the role and legacy of the Bri­tish Em­pire, coloni­sa­tion and slav­ery," Cor­byn said.

"It is vi­tal that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions un­der­stand the role that Black Bri­tons have played in our coun­try's his­tory and the strug­gle for racial equal­ity," he said.

Dur­ing the visit, the Labour leader met Uk-based civil rights ac­tivist Paul Stephen­son, who played a cen­tral role in the Bris­tol bus boy­cott in 1963 aimed at over­turn­ing a ban on Bri­tain's eth­nic mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion work­ing on the city's buses.

"Black His­tory Month is a cru­cial chance to cel­e­brate the im­mense con­tri­bu­tion of black Bri­tons to this coun­try, to re­flect on our com­mon his­tory and en­sure that such grave in­jus­tices can never hap­pen again," the Labour Party leader said.

"It was the brav­ery and de­ter­mi­na­tion of peo­ple like Paul, stand­ing up against in­jus­tice, that paved the way for the first Race Re­la­tions Act and the out­law­ing of such dis­crim­i­na­tion in our coun­try," he added.

At present, colo­nial his­tory mod­ules are op­tional within the wider school cur­ricu­lum. In re­cent times, Congress MP Shashi Tha­roor, the au­thor of 'In­glo­ri­ous Em­pire: What the Bri­tish Did to In­dia', has called for colo­nial his­tory to be made a com­pul­sory part of the school cur­ricu­lum in the UK.

His cam­paign has found back­ing among In­dian-ori­gin MPS in Bri­tain, in­clud­ing veteran Labour MP Viren­dra Sharma, who is also be­hind a spe­cific cam­paign for the Jal­lian­wala Bagh mas­sacre in Am­rit­sar dur­ing the Bri­tish Raj to be taught in UK schools.

"I have al­ways cam­paigned for colo­nial his­tory to be­come part and par­cel of main­stream ed­u­ca­tion in Bri­tain. It is im­por­tant that the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are aware of the role played by the Bri­tish in the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, the African con­ti­nent and other re­gions," Sharma said.

"The only way to en­sure that the mis­takes of the past are not re­peated is to learn from his­tory," he said.

The Labour Party says that as part of its plans for schools, chil­dren will be taken on vis­its to his­tor­i­cal sites as well as cover the African civil­i­sa­tion be­fore coloni­sa­tion and the "re­silience and sac­ri­fice of those en­slaved and the strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion".

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.