Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

07.39 11 Dec 2020


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Campaigners say Black, migrant and Traveller history should be put on the curriculum and anti-racism training for teachers should be compulsory.

Youth Against Racism and Inequality will set up mock classrooms in Dublin and Cork this afternoon as a protest action.

The group says teachers repeating the N-word in classroom readings of assigned texts like To Kill a Mockingbird is unacceptable.

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Dr Ebun Joseph, a social justice activist and founder of the Institute of Black of Studies in Dublin, believes a more inclusive curriculum for minorities is "really overdue".

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, she said there is a long history of Black, African and Traveller people and the teaching would have to ensure there is a move to a "non-Eurocentric" view of those groups.

She said: "One of the things we say is whoever controls the narrative of the past, they control what is happening today and they control the future.

"We cannot change the future if the way we teach about these groups is completely absent in our teaching.

"We have to remember that our education system really teaches us how to view people, how to respond to them, or what position they occupy in our history."

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Racism in the Irish education system is a major problem that affects the lives and ability...

Posted by YARI - Youth Against Racism & Inequality on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Dr Joseph thinks such classes should be included in the school timetable and also that the stories of minorities should be integrated into each subject.

She said: "The very absence of a structured provision of the information about these groups, about Travellers, Black people and African history,  the very absence of a structured approach to providing that already shows our racist stance in Ireland as a nation."

These lessons should be part of a module on the subject in primary and secondary school.

She added: "During the Black Lives Matter protests, young people took to social media reporting that from primary school they were already experiencing racism, not just ordinary name-calling but pure serious racism that pushes people to the point of being suicidal.

"Our education system actually teaches us how to be racist.

"For example, white supremacy, where do we learn that from? The absence of [minority] people in our history, the absence of them in our education system."

Dr Joseph added that "our teachers are not equipped" to teach about racism in books such as To Kill a Mockingbird and called for anti-racism training for educators.

Call for compulsory anti-racism training for teachers

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Main image: Thousands of anti-racism protesters gathered outside the GPO in Dublin in June. Credit: Sam Boal/RollingNews

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Black History Black Lives Matter Education Minorities Protest Racism Travellers Youth Against Racism And Inequality

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