Sur­vey re­sults pose ed­u­ca­tional chal­lenge

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

BRI­TISH JEWS should not be alarmed by the YouGov sur­vey’s find­ings, ac­cord­ing to his­to­rian Pro­fes­sor David Ce­sarani.

He said the re­sults rep­re­sented “a chal­lenge I think we are geared up to meet be­cause we do have Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day, the Holo­caust is taught in Bri­tish schools, there are more cen­tres for study­ing than ever be­fore in univer­si­ties, and the sub­ject is rou­tinely treated on television and films.

“Ob­vi­ously I am dis­ap­pointed that a quar­ter of young peo­ple ap­pear to be ig­no­rant of the Holo­caust, but I fear that re­flects much more a gen­eral ig­no­rance of his­tory. The fig­ures show that we can­not be com­pla­cent, but that we should not beat our breasts ei­ther.”

How­ever, Anne Frank Trust ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Gil­lian Walnes said that youth­ful ig­no­rance of the Holo­caust was “cer­tainly a sur­prise. As well as ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes, there have been many films and TV pro­grammes over the past few years on this sub­ject, which would have in­cluded this age group.

“This proves that, sadly, there is still a lot of in­for­ma­tive work that all the Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions still have to do.”

At the Jewish Coun­cil for Racial Equal­ity, di­rec­tor Dr Edie Fried­man dis­cerned “many gaps” in pub­lic knowl­edge and called for greater gov­ern­ment in­volve­ment in anti-racist ed­u­ca­tion.

Lynne Mis­ner of Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion Act for Change warned that the re­sponses “show the dan­ger of what can hap­pen if the Holo­caust is not spo­ken about in schools”.

A De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills’ spokesper­son said the JC’s find­ings “un­der­line the im­por­tance of teach­ing young peo­ple about the Holo­caust. That is why learn­ing about it is a com­pul­sory part of the Na­tional Cur­ricu­lum for his­tory.

“[The cur­ricu­lum] is de­signed to en­sure that pupils ac­quire a proper grasp of his­tor­i­cal knowl­edge, in­clud­ing the key events, de­vel­op­ments and per­son­al­i­ties that have shaped the past, in­clud­ing teach­ing of the Holo­caust.”

A De­part­ment for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that HMD and the Holo­caust Ed­u­ca­tional Trust had made a “great im­pact” on Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion. The gov­ern­ment was ear­mark­ing a fur­ther £1 mil­lion to the HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz course in his ef­forts to en­sure “that the hor­ren­dous crimes, racism and vic­tim­i­sa­tion com­mit­ted dur­ing the Holo­caust are nei­ther forgotten nor re­peated. It is es­sen­tial that we con­tinue to hear the voices of sur­vivors.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.