Human Rights Education and Pedagogy of Human Rights by Mujtaba Saeed Arman

Human Rights Education and Pedagogy of Human Rights by Mujtaba Saeed Arman


12-14-2015, 03:09 PM


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Title: Human Rights Education and Pedagogy of Human Rights by Mujtaba Saeed Arman
Author: مجتبى سعيد عرمان
Date: 12-14-2015, 03:09 PM

02:09 PM Dec, 14 2015

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Obviously, no one can deny the fact that Sudan is at the crossroads as a result of the socio-economic and political predicaments. Sudan‘s human rights record is heavily-loaded with gross human rights violations that formed crimes against humanity in various parts of the country. Sadly enough, the Sudanese social fabric is tremendously full of non-inclusive and degrading diction that stereotyped the ‘other’ as ‘sub-human’ via implicit and explicit mechanisms. For example, there are some Sudanese jokes that try to portray some social groups and individuals as ‘non- civic’ and as a result they don’t fit in the main stream culture of the Centre. Since independence, the Sudanese curriculum has tried to place Arabic language and ‘Islamic Culture’ in a higher position at the expense of the other Sudanese languages and cultures. So, the State apparatuses had witnessed an excessive wave of ‘Arabicization’ and Arabic language was imposed and became the medium of instruction in the higher institutions of education and the public media.
To deflate the intense atmosphere socially and politically, the Sudanese ‘Educated Class’ must rethink of a new way to prepare a curriculum that reflects the diversity of our society and fosters mutual understanding. The process of designing a new curriculum that reflects the diversity of our country and celebrate it. Crucially, any new curriculum must foster mutual-understanding between various social groups in particular at the early stages of schooling because a culture of human rights must be encouraged at this stage. Educationally speaking, children’s minds at this stage can be taught to respect and work with those who are different. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood
As we can see, the above mentioned article stipulates clearly the importance of human dignity. The last decade has witnessed what we can call the glorification of the ‘culture of death’, the pupil’s uniform was changed into a military-like uniform and the pupils were taught to sing ‘Jihad’ songs before the start of classes. It is worth mentioning that most of the Sudanese people have suffered a lot, the down trodden in particular, under a brutal regime. So, any new curriculum must celebrate article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which ensures the fact that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 2 of the Universal Human Rights states that: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, #######, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Hence, human rights promoters, educationists and all those who interested in building a new society must partake in the campaign of creating a new curriculum which celebrates the culture of human rights. Indeed, teachers can play the lion’s share when they are engaged in teaching the new curriculum. They can foster the process of mutual-understanding when pupils are given tasks to do with their peers who come from various social, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Pupils are taught to respect and tolerate different opinions when dealing with topics with controversial themes. They can be taught to respect the dignity of all irrespective of linguistic, religious and cultural differences.
Basically, ‘our’ new curriculum must encourage the process of tolerating different opinions and protecting the liberty of the ‘other’. Article 3 of the Universal Human Rights stipulates that:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Our country is in a bad need for the culture to maintain the right to life, liberty and security of person as being stipulated in the above mentioned article. The last decade has seen a gross and systematic violations for the human rights, on the top, comes the violation of the right to life. Respect of the right to life starts at the early phases of education. Pupils must be taught and divulged to the fact that human lives are sacred and ought to be valued and saved. Seemingly, our students in in the Sudanese universities, without any exception, have replaced the ability of reasoning with knives and weapons in the campus as a result many innocent lives were being taken in particular by the ruling party students. The ruling party students don’t have the culture of tolerating other political parties, of course opposing parties, opinions.
The last decade has witnessed torturing political opponents in places nicknamed ‘Ghost Houses’ where they were being treated harshly and inhumanly. In most of our schools physical punishment normally practiced even if when pupils commit simple mistakes. Article 5 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration states that:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Sarcastically, most of those who had exercised the curliest treatment of the political opponents of the regime had been to Sudanese schools where physical treatment was the order of the day. Most of the first generation of the Sudanese educationists would say to you, ‘when a father got his son to school, he would say to the teacher, you got the flesh and bones were ours.’
All in all, the culture of human rights and education must be part of any new curriculum that seeks to foster mutual-understanding and building a new inclusive state. The Sudanese social fabric has been subjected to a process of an enormous sabotage that targeted the unity of the various social groups. A new curriculum entails a process of sewing the dichotomies among the Sudanese people socially, politically and on class basis. The final destination will be creating harmony among the Sudanese and fostering mutual-understanding in a mosaic society.



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