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Countering intolerance and discrimination through education: Challenges and prospects. Roundtable and Book Launch

As part of its longstanding commitment to promote up-to-date, high-quality research and good practice and policy in the field of curriculum and learning, UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) is holding a public event on 15 June 2015, which will bring together high-level officials and prominent scholars to discuss the challenges and prospects of countering intolerance and discrimination through education. 

The event will also launch a new book published by IBE and based on research from countries that are still dealing with the legacy of the Holocaust. Titled As the Witnesses Fall Silent: 21st Century Holocaust Education in Curriculum, Policy and Practice, the book represents the most comprehensive collection of empirical research on the Holocaust education ever produced.

IBE Director Mmantsetsa Marope, who will open the conference and also deliver closing remarks, emphasized the importance of teaching the history of the Holocaust to present and future generations, as a way to sensitize people all over the world to the necessity of tolerance and respect for human rights. “We need to use teaching about the Holocaust to say to the world: don’t ever forget lest it happens again. Humanity has to stay vigilant and this book is one of those awakenings that we constantly need”, she said. 

The roundtable on “Countering Intolerance and Discrimination through Education” will be moderated by Rolf Gollob, Co-head of Institute for International Projects in Education at Zurich University of Teacher Education. Participants will include H.E. Francois Xavier Ngarambe, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office; Shahram Nahidi, Head of Humanities and Education, The King Abdulaziz Vienna Institute for Inter-religious Dialogue; Alison Joyner, Education Programme Officer, Aga Khan Foundation; Anne Giebel, Adviser on Combating Anti-Semitism, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights; and Marcelo Kohen, Professor of International Law, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

The launch of the book by its editors, Zehavit Gross of Bar-Ilan University, and Doyle Stevick of University of South Carolina, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Karel Fracapane, UNESCO Division for Teaching, Learning and Content. The panellists will include Monique Eckmann, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Geneva; Peter Gautschi, Pädagogische Hochschule Luzern; Dienke Hondius, Anne Frank House; Dominique Trimbur, Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah; as well as Peter Kirchschläger, Center of Human Rights Education, Pädagogische Hochschule Luzern.