New education pack to teach Scots pupils about genocide

A new education pack to help pupils learn about mass genocide in Europe in the 1990s is being launched for Scottish secondary schools.
Scots pupils will be taught about genocide via a new education packScots pupils will be taught about genocide via a new education pack
Scots pupils will be taught about genocide via a new education pack

The teacher training resource is being unveiled by the Remembering Srebrenica Scotland charity in Edinburgh to highlight what can happen when intolerance and prejudice takes hold.

The organisation said many young Scots did not know more than 8,000 people, mainly Muslim men and boys, were murdered in the Bosnian town by the Bosnian Serb army in 1995.

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Twenty-seven teachers from across Scotland are attending the charity’s teacher training conference tomorrow where they will learn how the material can be effectively used in the classroom.

The Scottish board of the charity is chaired by former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood.

She said: “Every time genocide happens, the world says ‘never again’, yet history shows that it happens again and again.

“Understanding why it happens and how it can be prevented is crucial in the education of children and young people.

“There is recent evidence of a rise in hate crimes towards those considered different and non-white even here in Scotland.

“Our new and revised education pack will help young people understand how prejudice, discrimination, exclusion and intolerance diminish and degrade members of our community and may prevent them from taking and enjoying a full role in society.”

She added: “The story of Srebrenica is not ancient history. It is a recent event in a European country and a reminder that genocide isn’t something that happens somewhere else.”

Teachers will be sent a link to download the material from the online resource.

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The education pack was created by Robin Macpherson, assistant rector and History teacher at Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire, and Fiona Malcolm, faculty head of Humanities at Braes High School in Polmont near Falkirk.

Mr Macpherson, a member of the charity board, said: “Our education pack has been designed to cover two core areas for teachers – subject knowledge and curriculum design.

“We realise that events at Srebrenica are not widely known, so teachers need training to be able to deliver the programme.

“Each school will have their own needs and context so the curriculum design materials have been created with this in mind.

“We are mindful of teacher workload, so are keen to make introducing the lessons as easy as possible so that the maximum number of pupils can learn about what happened.”

Remembering Srebrenica Scotland was established as a charity in 2015 and organises commemoration events to mark the acts of genocide in Bosnia in the 1990s.