Friday, 16 November 2012

NZ:Jewish community calls for compulsory Holocaust studies

The Holocaust Centre in Wellington is calling for the study of the World War II genocide of Europe's Jews to be made compulsory in New Zealand secondary schools.
It is currently optional for teachers to include a unit on the Holocaust in their courses.
The call follows an attack on a Jewish cemetery in Auckland four weeks ago.

Representatives from the Holocaust Centre and the Israeli embassy, which backs the call, met with officials at the Education Ministry today.
The Jewish representatives were told that New Zealand schools have a high level of autonomy and make their own decisions about what to teach, a ministry official told ONE News.
As part of their drive, the embassy and the Holocaust Centre are paying half the fees for 24 educators from across New Zealand to go to the Holocaust Centre in Jerusalem for two weeks to study how to teach the subject.
The Holocaust Centre says all year 10 students should study it.
It says New Zealand is obligated under United Nations law to teach it.
"Those who died there, who were slaughtered there, we feel we owe it to them to tell their stories. To tell what's happened," said Shemi Tzur, Israel's ambassador to New Zealand.
But some educators say compulsory study of one of history's darkest episodes is not necessary.
"What my research in new zealand schools shows is that students tend to work a lot harder and they tend to work a lot smarter when they make their own choices, and so they become a lot better at doing history," said Mark Sheehan, of Victoria University's Faculty of Education.

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