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This was a very interesting paper as it was based on the author, Eric Ehigie’s and his mother’s personal experience of injustice and prejudice growing up and living in Ireland. It put them at the cold face of the stark reality of not being an equal citizen in a society, because of their being black in a almost white majority country.
The role of a teacher is to open pupils’ eyes to these issues; to get pupils to inform themselves, to empathise and act beyond their own “system of self”.In other words pupils have to convert from being a class pupil to being a global pupil and thus enlarging their world to incorporate global issues and injustices.
As pupils mature, they are in contact with a wider world through their usage of mobile phones and computers but they are frequently still tied to their own communities and country and they are not partaking in the wider, global world. It is therefore very important to constantly link this global world to the children’s curriculum, to enable them to be more open and understanding to the problems and injustices which exist.I think that current affairs and news items are a great asset to link a child to this global world.
There are many disasters happening because of climate change, drought, famine, political instability, war etc. which makes the challenges faced by these countries and communities more real to pupils.There are many articles and news items on line which show and describe these events and the pictures can sometimes be more effective than a thousand words as the saying goes.
We as teachers must however tread carefully and make sure that our pupils can inform themselves gradually and logically about world issues without undue stress and worry.The content and type of information should be age relevant and appropriate. I think that the 4 modules and the 5 lessons assigned by Plan International Ireland is perfect for the Irish primary school or the Gaelscoil.
By the time a pupil reaches Rang 6, they would have learned the nucleus of the major injustices faced by the Global South and the charter of Sustainable Development signed in 2015 and the goal of having them implemented worldwide by 2030.This would be a very good starting point for the pupils as they enter Secondary Education, where they could continue to dig deeper and propel themselves into global activism.