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Response of educational systems to the problem of racism

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1) OBJECTIVE

To stress the importance of educational policy in combating racism and xenophobia, involving efforts at local, national and European level.

2) COMMUNITY MEASURES

Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of Member States' governments meeting within the Council of 23 October 1995 on the response of educational systems to the problems of racism and xenophobia.

3) CONTENTS

A fundamental task of educational systems is to promote respect for all people, whatever their cultural origins, by helping to improve knowledge of European cultural diversity.

A quality educational system should aim to encourage equality of opportunity.

European educational systems should therefore continue and enhance their efforts at promoting education in values which encourage attitudes of solidarity, tolerance (particularly towards persons and communities of different ethnic and cultural origins and with different religious beliefs), as well as respect for democracy and human rights.

The measures considered are as follows: use of teaching materials reflecting the cultural diversity of European society; specific integration initiatives aimed at pupils and students who, given their social situation, may be susceptible to racist and/or xenophobic influences; reinforcing areas of education which can help provide a better understanding of the nature of a multicultural society, etc.

Schools alone cannot resolve the problems; cooperation between schools and their environment is therefore desirable.

The Council invites Member States to:

  • foster the provision of education and training of quality, enabling all children to fulfil their potential and play a role in the community;
  • promote plurality in curricula;
  • contribute to the development of concepts such as peace, democracy, respect and equality between cultures, tolerance, cooperation, etc. and encourage the preparation of educational materials designed to foster attitudes and values favourable to understanding and tolerance;
  • encourage initiatives promoting cooperation between schools and their local communities.

The Council invites the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, to:

  • exploit fully and ensure coherence among all Community programmes which promote education and training aspects of the struggle against racism and xenophobia;
  • exploit in particular the parts of the Socrates programme involved with the problems concerned;
  • collect and disseminate information about the contribution of European educational systems in combating racism and xenophobia and the integration of people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • ensure that, in the field of education, appropriate cooperation in combating racism and xenophobia is achieved between the Community and international organisations, especially the Council of Europe.

4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

Not applicable

5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)

6) REFERENCES

Official Journal C 312 of 23.11.1995

7) FOLLOW-UP WORK

8) COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

Last updated: 10.10.2005
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