Belfast Telegraph

Human rights project launched for Ulster schools

By Claire Regan
08 February 2005

A major resource on human rights education was launched today, providing support for teachers in exploring human rights issues as part of the curriculum in secondary schools here.

Human Rights Commissioner Professor Brice Dickson was joined by groups of schoolchildren at Stormont this morning to launch the 'Bill of Rights in Schools: A Resource for Post Primary Schools'.

Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education, Gerry McGinn, and chief executive of the Belfast Education and Library Board, David Cargo, were also there to hear from teachers and pupils from the Boys Model School in Belfast and St Mary's College in Newry who are currently using the materials to further their understanding of human rights and citizenship issues.

The materials were developed through a partnership of the Human Rights Commission, the Department of Education and all five education and library boards.

The new teaching resource was piloted by teachers in 30 schools and has been distributed to all post primary schools across Northern Ireland.

Professor Dickson hailed the event "a landmark day for the education service in Northern Ireland".

"This dynamic resource will allow teachers and pupils to explore local and international human rights issues.

"It will certainly improve pupils' understanding of human rights issues generally, and more particularly the issues associated with the proposed Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland."

Mr McGinn added: "All the international conventions on human rights lay great stress on the right to education."

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