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The Brexit Referendum results and the recently concluded American elections, make it extremely clear that rhetoric is an important mechanism in the battle to win the hearts and minds of any electorate.
Libraries up and down the nation constitute public places where people can be persuaded to embrace a national vision or perspective that engenders peace and progress for that nation.
Brexit is now a reality and opens up new frontiers, new partnerships, new challenges and new socio-political and economic agendas for the UK.
The need for the UK and its populace to be broad in their vision and in their appreciation of other peoples and cultures has never been greater. Britain once upon a time had a close involvement with the cultures and peoples of one- quarter of this planet. That is a staggering legacy from the forebears of the British people. This relationship was encapsulated and enshrined in the principles of the Commonwealth.
An examination of historical facts will establish whether present day Britain makes good use of this legacy
Globalisation by its definition requires socio political and economic interaction with people of diverse cultures. One can that it is hypothetically correct to say that globalisation and diversity are two sides of the same coin.
Population and culture is more diverse) perform better than students in the Northern parts of the country. The report went on to suggest that positive engagement with diverse cultures helps us all to be global in our perspective.
A Joseph Rowntree report pointed to the advantages of a heterogeneous nation in leaving us better equipped to weather the storms of the global economy and adapt to change
Members of CDEG areinvolved in all the three levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary) and are supremely positioned to encourage decision makers in government to recognise the crucial need to put the message across that diversity is an asset to present day Britain.
The role of Britain on the world stage is a pivotal one. She is a nation with an increasingly culturally diverse population the fastest growing segment of the Britain’s population are people of dual heritage. was involved in the Who do we think we are?pilot project carried out by the Geographical Society of Britain and the forum for citizenship studies which explored the situation and the experience of those with dual cultural heritage.
One of the important findings of the project was that children of dual cultural heritage have a pressing need to be well versed in the history and cultural knowledge of the two aspects of their cultural reality. The book Silhouettes of a Treasured Heritage is a teaching resource that highlights the huge emotional dividends that accrue to persons of dual cultural heritage when they invest time and effort to understand their none –white or European culture.
The text was recommended by the Qualification and Curriculum Authority as a teaching resource for Britain’s modern multi-ethnic history in 2007. This
occurred because the text addressed many of the issues that Teachers at the Ethnic minority Achievement Service have for many years pinpointed as serious factors that undermine that schooling experience of many black and Mixed race pupils.
The Home office funded Connecting Communities Project which I managed also worked with the Learning Trust apart from Emas. The findings of my project clearly pointed to the fact that mixed race children desire to know the history of Africa which was far removed from the slave trade.
However, it was mature or older mixed race people in tertiary education who we interviewed, that had the emotional intelligence to admit to our team that the pathos that surrounds the slave trade drives many mixed race persons from exploring their African heritage.
Some mixed race Oxford graduates; know all about the battle of Agincourt and the origin of the royal family right back to William of Orange but know nothing at all about the History of Africa or any of its kings or Queens. These individuals freely admit that this lopsided knowledge of their roots is incorrect.
The picture that began to emerge was that a case needed to be made that ; Africa’s history did not begin with the slave trade any more than Jewish history began with the holocaust. The text Silhouettes of a Treasured Heritage makes this case.
The QCA, in its decision to recommend that Silhouettes of a treasured Heritage be used for the teaching of modern multi-ethnic history of Britain; reasoned that many mixed race and young black people are more likely to be interested in knowing about Africa’s history if it goes back to ancient Egypt, when Nubian and Cushite kings ruled Egypt.
Our project also discovered that history matter to young people. Chinese and Asian pupils we encountered were proud of their language, history and cultural heritage and readily invest time and effort in learning about their roots.
Black and mixed race pupils on the other hand expressed unease with sad history lessons they often had to endure about the slave trade. Most important of all these history lessons we gleaned, constitutes a serious emotional barrier that prevented black and mixed race children from embracing Britain as their adopted homeland.
The QCA felt that Silhouettes of a Treasured Heritage was a necessary resource that was crucial in correcting this soci-educational anomaly.
Many other social issues Silhouettes of a treasured Heritage drew attention to are even more relevant today than they were some years ago (some examples being violent demonstrations or violent extremism). These typically arise when segments of a society are marginalised.
In 2008 Silhouettes of a treasured Heritage was a recommended reading text at Princeton University in a social science Freshman’s course, that examined the dynamics of multi-racial relationships.
British exit from Europe can no longer be reversed. According to the Rowntree report mentioned earlier. A heterogenous population could constitute an assert for a nation.
Britain’s gravitas as a nation state and global giant is closely tied to what she does with the cultural diversity that her ever increasing mixed race population and the Commonwealth of nations; created by her forebears bestow on her.
Finally,war and combat have today become asymmetrical. People are now prepared to die for all kinds of causes they are passionate about .out
Very often, they acquire these passions through what they read and what they hear.Decision makers should put out messages that say peace is beautiful (and to be treasured in spite of its fragile nature). We should similarly tell all our youngpeople that the safe child today; is the child who can cope in any seaport or airport itshe/he finds itself. Our children are so much safer if the education we give them; lets them knowabout the conditions and way of life of other people in the vast and varied global village we now inhabit.
Stella Osammor