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New school curriculum values diversity

Thu 8 Nov 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

New Zealand's new school curriculum contains strong aspirations for diversity, equity and social justice in the classroom, says the Post-Primary Teacher's Association. While there is no specific mention of LGBT/queer identities in the new document, PPTA president Robin Duff says cultural diversity and inclusion are important themes. "It is a general and flexible document. However, it does lay down the principals of what we want for decision-making," he explains. The curriculum says education must be "non-sexist, non-racist, and non-discriminatory; ensuring that students' identities, languages, abilities, and talents are recognised and affirmed. "Students will be encouraged to value diversity, as found in our different cultures, languages, and heritages… and equity, through fairness and social justice," the document states. "It is expected that schools will consult with their communities when developing health and sexuality education programmes," the new curriculum also sets out. More than 15,000 New Zealanders took part in face-to-face meetings and contributed online during the curriculum's development and consultation process. The Human Rights Commission said education in schools must aim to "increase respect for diversity and improve attitudes toward all people, but particularly towards Maori, people from minority ethnic groups, migrants, disabled people, and gay, lesbian and transgender people." It also recommended empowering people so that they can better exercise their rights. Duff is confident the new curriculum is a step forward for all New Zealand's students. "In terms of diversity, in terms of equity, and in terms of social justice, there are very strong aspirations in there."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 8th November 2007 - 5:48pm

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