UNIT 2
HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND THE ELEMENTARY
LEVEL CURRICULUM

Structure

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Objectives

2.3 Human Rights Education at Elementary Level

2.3.1 Need and Importance
2.3.2 The Child at the Elementary School Stage
2.3.3 Rights of the Child

2.4 Human Rights Education and the Elementary Level Curriculum

2.4.1 Social Studies
2.4.2 Languages
2.4.3 Science
2.4.4 Illustrative Transaction of Human Rights Teaching

2.5 Activities for Human Rights Education

2.5.1 Centres of Interest
2.5.2 Exhibitions and Displays
2.5.3 School Clubs
2.5.4 Projects
2.5.5 Dramatics and Literary Activities

2.6 Let Us Sum Up

2.7 Unit End Activities

2.8 Check Your Progress : Key

2.9 Appendix — Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)

2.1 INTRODUCTION

Teachers must recognise the fact that they are the key to effective education for human rights. Secondly, recognising the power of modelling, the schools that practise respect for individual students are the most effective in teaching human rights. Thirdly, education for human rights must be based on two aspects: the rights of oneself — developing a sense of one’s intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being and the rights of others — recognising that others have the same intrinsic worth as oneself — a sense that others are fellow human beings.

Being the key actors in this act of teaching human rights, it should be reflected in their teaching while transacting the curriculum. If the teacher understands how to incorporate the principle of human rights in the curriculum and its transaction, human rights education will be so much facilitated.

In this unit we will discuss this very issue — how to incorporate human rights education into the elementary school curriculum and its effective transaction. We will take up the two important subject areas taught at this stage environmental studies (Social Studies and Science) and language work. We will go into the different kinds of activities that can be used at this level for human rights education.

2.2 OBJECTIVES

After reading this lesson you will be able to :

2.3 HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AT ELEMENTARY LEVEL

2.3.1 Need and Importance

Education itself cannot eradicate the conditions which give rise to major problems affecting human survival and well being; there are other social, economic, political and cultural factors. But education being concerned with human beings and with their orientation for the future does play a fundamental role. It provides individuals with the capacity and motivation to act. It becomes very important to understand right in the very beginning that the term "human rights" implies universality. It is an assertion that rights exist for each person regardless of social status, rank, race, religion, sex or any other characteristic which may distinguish human beings from one another. These rights exist for each of us because we are human; they exist for all of us because we all belong to humankind. That is why it becomes very important for all our children to know about human rights from the very beginning. Our work becomes very much easier when we know that education for human rights is applicable to all levels of education. From the child’s early years, education for human rights is both practical as well as necessary. Pre-school and early elementary education can highlight a sense of common humanity among children. Older elementary school children can be made more aware of social and political issues. They know that there is inequality, poverty, suffering, conflict and deprivation of freedom in this world. Most of them might have felt all these some time or the other in their lives. They will start questioning as to how things can be changed for the better and they have a right to learn about human rights and human values which have been universally proclaimed. An important thing to remember over here is that in many developing countries children are denied the opportunity for education beyond the elementary level. Hence, it becomes a part of our duty to provide at least some education that is related to human rights before they leave school.

2.3.2 The Child at the Elementary School Stage

An important aim of education is to develop positive attitudes and values in children while they are young. Advances made in the Psychology of Learning and Instruction have shown that it is possible to expose young children to these issues as part of their preparation for adulthood and future citizenship. Even the curriculum of the elementary level today exposes children to local, regional and national cultures. As stated in the last section, in a country like ours it is all the more important to expose children to the concept of One World and Human Rights at this stage because many children do not go beyond the elementary level. It is important to have a proper, developed programme for the students of the elementary stage. They are entering school for the first time, and secondly, right at this stage they start developing broader perspectives because of being exposed to reading and interpersonal interaction. This, in turn, brings numerous changes in their attitudes and behaviour. So when we prepare a programme for the students of this age group we must take their developmental characteristics into account. On this should depend our aims, objectives, content and methods of their education.

Children at the elementary stage enjoy all sorts of activities which become a source of joy for them and they look forward to doing it. What better way can there be than to learn about Human Rights while they sing and dance! Activities like painting and drawing are also a source of joy for them. Clay modelling, dramatisation and many other activities help in developing their cognitive and conceptual abilities as well as skills for self-dependence and co-operation. Their curiosity invokes in them a desire to know more and this information they would like to get from their books, libraries and especially their teachers. At this stage, speech becomes an important tool for group interaction and for sharing experiences. There is also a shift from ego-centric to socially-oriented speech. This is the time when concepts of right and wrong and new standards of morality take shape. Once these concepts are internalised they can be applied to a broader variety of situations. When we impart Human Rights Education at the elementary level we will have to take into account all these factors as they will make our work many times easier.

A little older children in the elementary school develop interest in reading story books, especially books which have many illustrations; books that contain stories about heroes and heroines; and stories from mythology, especially Ramayana and Mahabharata. They like to watch programmes on T.V. and like to hear the radio, too. All these can be used as means for developing international understanding. They can also be helped to develop positive attitudes towards their own group and towards people who are culturally different from themselves. But the teacher has to be very careful because instruction at this stage should enable the child to develop healthy attitudes, as free as possible from prejudices.

To sum up, the child at this stage is energetic, very curious to know more as well as socially and morally conscious. So their developmental potential must be taken into account when we make decisions about the aims, content and methods of education for international understanding with special reference to education for peace, co-operation and respect for Human Rights.

In the elementary years it is important to give special emphasis to the curricular areas which would lead to the development of constructive attitudes and values since these formed in middle and late childhood will be carried forth into later life and they will have an effect on later decision-making and citizenship skills.

2.3.3 Rights of the Child

All children have the Right to :

  • affection, love and understanding

  • become useful members of society and to develop their special talents

  • have enough time and space to play

  • have a name and a nationality

  • be rescued first if disaster takes place

  • proper housing, enough food and medical care

  • free education

  • special care if they are handicapped

  • grow up believing in peace and treating all people as their brothers and sisters

  • enjoy all these rights, no matter to what race, colour, sex, religion, nationality or social background they belong

  • CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 1

    a) Why is Human Rights Education needed at the Elementary stage? Give two reasons.

    _________________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________

    b) Give two rights of the child which you think can be incorporated in the teaching of your subject. _________________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________

    2.4 HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND THE ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM

    The main subjects which are taught at the elementary level are Environmental Studies and Language.

    The curriculum in Environmental Studies aims at promoting knowledge and understanding of natural and physical environment as well as of social and cultural environment. Beginning with the study of these aspects of the environment which are within the immediate experience of the child, its scope is extended to include the district, the state, the country and the world. Narratives and biographies of men and women from the history of India and of the world, India’s freedom struggle and certain aspects of Indian constitution should be included in this course.

    In the language curriculum the focus should be on the development of personal qualities of compassion, tolerance and sympathy. This can be done through an appropriate selection of stories, poems and other literary forms.

    2.4.1 Social Studies

    If you study the curriculum of Environmental Studies (social and cultural) at the elementary level you will find that it is dealing with family, neighbourhood, nations, food, clothing, shelter, religions, festivals, national heroes and heroines. This is very much in line with what we want them to learn. So what we have to do is to make our curriculum transaction more effective. Through this content we can develop knowledge of and respect for the diversity and variety in the ethnic composition and culture, languages, religion, customs and ways of living in India and the world, and also realize that we are all equal as human beings.

    We need to awaken the interest of children in the physical setting of the neighbourhood, country and the world in which they live, with the help of the Social Studies curriculum. This will help the children to realise the importance of living together in harmony with neighbours and other countries of the world.

    Children can also develop an understanding of the interdependence of human beings by showing how life in the local area is influenced by the co-operation of people living in it. For instance, they will learn that the people in the towns and villages are dependent on each other for their needs like food which is grown by the villages and industries which are mainly operated in the towns. In the factories people belonging to villages and towns work together to produce goods for all the people. This will illustrate to the children that we should work in co-operation to fulfill our mutual needs.

    In our Social Studies curriculum we have stories of heroes and heroines from our history. These stories will set before children ideals of equality, truth, justice, tolerance, courage, selflessness and responsibility to others. For example, the teacher can relate stories containing instances of human rights violation. The children can be sensitized to these instances so that human rights can be taken care of in the future.

    The children also develop an understanding of the vision of independent India as it evolved during the freedom struggle. These lessons could help in promoting Human Rights (particularly secularism, democracy) through a general understanding of India’s national goals and the main features of our Constitution — Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties, as well as secularism and democracy. It would also help in promoting concern about deprivation, poverty, disease, illiteracy and inequalities.

    In the upper elementary stage the major subject areas relevant to Human Rights Education are Social Studies, Sciences and Languages. As you know, in India, the guidelines are prepared by NCERT, which provide the general framework for the syllabus in different Social Studies subjects like History, Geography and Civics. The course in History at this stage deals mainly with Indian history and in general with the history of world civilization. While teaching these lessons, stress can be laid on developing an understanding of and appreciation for India’s cultural heritage, its composite nature, richness as well as variety. We should also emphasis that inspite of all this diversity and variety, we are humans having consideration for each other’s rights.

    The Human Rights dimension in this course lies in providing a critical understanding of Indian society through the ages, with focus on the position of women and the inequalities that were created by the caste system. The latter led to the division of the Indian society into different castes and subcastes. Subsequently, it resulted in the development of inequality in its worst forms amounting to violation of the fundamental right to lead a decent and respectful life for a section of the society. There were barbarous practices of female infanticide, sati, low status accorded to women especially widows, etc. Attempts made by some enlightened persons like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Raja Ram Mohan Roy to reform society, especially towards the upliftment of women and other suppressed groups needs to be highlighted.

    All this should find place in the curriculum as also to make the children aware of the legislative reforms and the work done by the Indian government and international organisations, particularly the U.N. agencies in trying to uplift women and other groups. Another programme that could be highlighted is the work that is being done for the girl child, as also the world wide movement towards education for all and new concepts like Quality Education for Equality.

    Through History lessons the teacher can help in developing an understanding of the struggle for freedom and the ideals that it embodied for reconstructing Indian society, polity and economy on the principles of democracy, secularism and egalitarianism which are integral to the promotion of human rights and to make students to identify cases of observation and violation of human rights.

    The relevance of geography course which deals with the geography of different continents and of a few selected countries in each continent lies in bringing into sharp focus the variety of ways of living in different parts of India and of the world and developing an appreciation for this variety. Geography at this stage becomes more interesting when the children get to know how inter-dependent we are on each other whether in our own country or abroad. They also learn about land and people in neighbouring countries, about their dress, customs, folk songs, folk stories. They also learn that we share common values inspite of our diverse cultures and we also appreciate the cultural diversities in different continents.

    The course in Civics containing topics on national integration and democracy can help in promoting well informed and intelligent citizenship for effective participation in the affairs of the community. At this stage, values of democracy, socialism, secularism, justice, equality and national integration can be inculcated in the children. Civics introduces the study of Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties which have been enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Then there are lessons dealing with problems faced by our society — social, economic and political, environment related, violation of human rights and excessive arms race. The lessons deal with many aspects and dimensions of Human Rights in India and the world. The teacher now has to play a very effective role. They will have to be vigilant and observant to raise specific issues and cases of observance as well as violation of human rights that are taking place in our day to day life e.g child labour, humiliation of weaker sections etc. This will make the students aware, concerned and motivated towards preservation of human rights. Human Rights documents could be introduced here. The teacher can help interconnect the ideals of secularism, democracy and egalitarianism on the one hand and Human Rights on the other.

    2.4.2 Languages

    All educational systems emphasise the development of communication skills during the Elementary School years. Hence children are involved in various activities of listening, speaking, reading and writing — the four language skills. This is an excellent time to educate them on world issues. This can be accomplished through the choice of the content around which teaching is organized. The teacher can effectively make use of the language class to:

    a) Develop in the children the ability to communicate clearly ideas, opinions and arguments concerning the issues at hand.

    b) While the children are asked to write stories and essays, the teacher can help to develop the ability to collect information and to analyse and synthesize it for use in formulating decisions and writing e.g. stories where the students feel that a human right has been violated or how they can help in strengthening a particular human right.

    c) Another ability which can be developed in children is the ability to participate in citizenship action at their own level e.g. community or school development activities where they can use their communication skills to collect funds for victims of natural calamities at home or abroad or for any other tragedy that has taken place. The teacher can help change the attitude of the children so that they develop an attitude of acceptance of other children from different ethnic groups and tolerance of difference in opinions, beliefs and customs. Once the teacher makes use of the language class with a set idea, it will not be difficult to inculcate in the children a desire to co-operate at different levels to alleviate human suffering, promote peace and harmony and protect human rights. On the other hand the children develop an interest in respecting the rights of others in their own school and community as well as in distant lands. A motivated teacher can help develop in children the willingness to promote justice and equality in their everyday lives. The subject of language can, similarly, lay the foundation for an appreciation for the underlying humanistic values conveyed through folk tales, legends, poems, essays and dramas. The teacher can help children to be exposed to a wide variety of reading materials carrying suitable knowledge, attitudes and values.

    2.4.3 Science

    The guidelines for the course in science has been introduced as an undiversified subject at this stage. The objective of teaching this subject has been to inculcate a national outlook and thereby help in critical observation and doing away with prejudices based on narrow considerations of caste, sex or religion. The guidelines also emphasise the objective of promoting understanding of the process and problems of areas related to agriculture, health and nutrition, environmental protection, energy and material resources and more importantly develop a scientific attitude to live more effectively as a responsible citizen. Through this curriculum on science and environment, the teacher can lay emphasis on personal hygiene and community co-operation eg. cleanliness, sanitation habits to keep clean surroundings, waste disposal habits, consideration for others’ feelings, care of the sick etc. They can also learn to protect the natural environment like flowers, plants, trees, animals, birds, preserve drinking water, forests etc. They also learn about the contribution of science in the fight against hunger and disease and in minimising the effects of natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes.

    2.4.4 Illustrative Transaction of Human Rights Teaching

    You are aware that NCERT curriculum at this level suggests a topic on human rights to be included in the social studies syllabus. Suggestive illustrations for transacting this topic in the classroom are given below.

    A) TOPIC: CHILD LABOUR

    General objectives: To make the children aware of the problem of child labour as a practice against the spirit of human rights in general and child’s rights in particular.

    Specific objectives

    1. Draw the attention of students to child labourers.
    2. To make them aware of the problems of child labour.
    3. To make them realise that child labour is against human rights.
    4. To develop positive attitude towards and empathy for child labourers.
    5. To help them find ways of helping child labourers.

    Methodology

    Draw the attention of the learners to child labourers — young children working at restaurants, as servants in houses etc. Ask them to observe the young workers and talk with them, and then make a report on the information they have collected and respond to it. Have them discuss how they might help child servants in their homes or in the neighbourhood.

    Discuss the types of skills that could help child labourers of today achieve at least the beginning of a more positive and, therefore, a more dignified life (e.g. literacy, vocational training, awareness of legal rights, awareness of bank and post office group schemes.)

    Also discuss ways and means of ensuring that these child labourers get a balanced diet and healthy living conditions with treatment and care if they happen to fall ill.

    Children’s rights that are applicable to all children should be given to these children also. This aspect should be highlighted.

    B) TOPIC : FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES AND HUMAN RIGHTS

    Message to be conveyed — Each right carries with it a corresponding responsibility or duty.

    General objectives: To make the pupil realize that a right can only be enjoyed if there is a corresponding duty.

    Specific objectives: At the end of this lesson the pupil will be able to

    a) discuss the different rights of people.
    b) give instances of fundamental rights and human rights.
    c) discuss individual rights and corresponding duties.
    d) demonstrate the exercise of rights and the corresponding obligations in daily life.

    Methodology: This topic can be taught using a teaching aid given below :

    Pupils can be asked to select one right from the illustration, form groups and hold discussions. They may come up with conclusion or opinions of their own after this discussion.

    They may then be asked to report about the result of the discussion. A resource person can also be invited to discuss the rights of people. Learners can relate personal experiences regarding the rights discussed.

    CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 2

    Select a topic in your subject and illustrate how you will transact this topic in the classroom incorporating human rights.

    2.5 ACTIVITIES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION

    A list of activities are listed below which would help the students at the elementary level to have a greater understanding of Human Rights.

    a) The children should be asked to draw pictures or make charts which would show how they could help their mother, father or other members of the family at home.

    b) At school they could make charts (painting or collage work) and display them. These charts would show how they could help their classmates in school or even people outside. One example could be a little elder child helping a younger child in boarding a school bus.

    c) Make and list very simple rules for comfort in the classroom.

    d) Make a list of safety rules for fire drills and crossing streets and tell them why they are made and that it is important to follow them.

    e) Show how quarrels on the playground can be settled through friendly discussion.

    f) Visits and excursions to post offices, fire departments, library, etc. to see how they work together as friends to help us. Similarly, also show how countries are working together as friends to make the world a better place to live in.

    g) Discussion could be held with the newly admitted students to the classroom about their old school, their home, the food they eat and what all they did in their free time.

    h) Similarly ask the students to list some items produced in the neighborhood and those brought in from other places.

    These activities will help to direct the children’s attention first to matters local and particular and gradually to those more general and of more unfamiliar or foreign. Besides, there can be other activities which point the way to ideas of co-operation among nations. These we will find represented in the work of some of the United Nations agencies like UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP etc.

    CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 3

    In Social Studies we teach about different states in the country. Suggest two activities which will help you to link it up with human rights.

    2.5.1 Centres of Interest

    Children can be encouraged to involve themselves in some centres of interest based on a common ground or subject where they can collect materials, exchange ideas, hold discussions and debates, linking it up with human rights and bringing about change in attitudes. The teacher can supervise this activity. This centre of interest can revolve around local, national or even international issues.

    For instance, students can make a list of food items, clothing and household objects used in their own country as well as in others and talk about who produced and processed the raw materials. They will also talk about how these finished goods were brought to the consumers. This is one of the best way to acquaint students with several countries or regions in terms of such topics as food, lodging, transport, clothing, family life, games and festivals. Besides, this topic can easily slip into the social studies curriculum and the teachers can do their job without any extra effort on their part. The lesson will also get a new dimension and help in giving new direction to the students. This centre of interest can lead to knowledge, understanding and tolerance of diverse cultures.

    Supposing the school is situated in a seaport area, then the students might take boats and shipping as a theme for centre of interest. Here they find out where boats and ships are made. How in the past they were a means of communication and trade with other countries. How they helped in the spread of civilisation and knowledge of other peoples. They can find out where the ships are coming from - the products and life — styles of these countries. They also get to know what the cities of a given country bring to the port and what they carry away.

    If the school is situated in a rural area, then the best thing to discuss is farming here and outside and methods used.

    This kind of activity has to be focussed on the related human rights and can be advantageously used by the teacher in Human Rights Education. In fact, the centre of interest can be Human Rights itself where they can collect material on Human Rights, discuss it in sessions and even stage programmes on it. This can be similar to a club, but not so formal.

    2.5.2 Exhibitions and Displays

    Elementary school children are energetic and like to be involved in various activities, which offer opportunities to develop their psychomotor skills that will be needed for future productive work. They also promote respect for the dignity of labour and for people who work with their hands. The most important part is that the children’s skills in co-operation are developed when they work in groups. They also take pride when such work has been put up for exhibitions and display. Some of the activities in which the teacher can involve them are Paper-cutting, drawing, collage work, work with scrap materials, work related to science, environmental studies and social studies and all such kinds of activities where some creativity and aesthetic sense is involved. To make the students understand the importance of international brotherhood, materials showing adults and children from different countries and culture and their dress and housing system can be shown.

    Children have a keen sense of observation. They are creative and spontaneous by nature and if they are encouraged, they will come out with beautiful work showing human rights violation as well as ideals. All this material can be put up for exhibition. Children will take pride in the display of their creations and if told about it in advance, they will show keen interest in it. The activity itself will lead to an understanding of human rights and when they work together to make things for an exhibition, they will learn to co-operate and respect each other, which is an important aspect of human rights.

    2.5.3 School Clubs

    Clubs could also be formed in which children having a particular interest be allowed to get together. Here they can sit and plan their own activity. The children can be encouraged to have meetings, discussions on various topics. They can be encouraged to plan their work and also offer themselves to social work like helping people in distress by collecting funds and other such works.

    The teacher can also encourage them to form clubs like Modelling club in which children do modelling in clay, wood and scrap, make models of home, neighbourhood etc. Or have a kitchen gardening club in which they are encouraged to do pot culture, floriculture, help in beautifying the school surroundings and many such allied activities. We can have a doll’s club where they are encouraged to prepare dolls and puppets representing people from different countries and cultures. They can also be encouraged to form clubs where they undertake care of classroom, maintenance of school furniture, keeping the surroundings clean and even help in looking after the younger children during lunch break etc.

    While indulging in the activities of the club, children work together and learn about other people and cultures. This activity can be directed towards making children to respect and practice human rights if properly supervised and guided by the teacher.

    2.5.4 Projects

    There are simple and interesting ways of involving children in a project. They can be asked to bring various kinds of objects or products from abroad. Some of the very common and easily available things they can bring are postage stamps, coins, flags, toffee wrappers or even photographs and picture postcards. The teacher can then involve all the children and stimulate in them a desire to know more about a certain country and the people who live there. On the basis of all this, projects could be developed to last a whole year.

    Another project could be to go on an imaginary journey around the world. This could start with a visit to an airport to investigate traffic regulations and customs formalities. Then the children could be asked to make enquiries about food, dress, living conditions, vegetation, occupations, life-styles and geography about a particular country or countries in particular and the continents in general. Children will find it extremely interesting if they are asked to do more detailed work like draw up a calendar of national festivals of other countries and compare it with their country and may be one or two other countries of the same continent or another continent. They could even go into the history of that country and compare it with their own in terms of events of the period.

    It will be interesting to note that once the children really get interested they will find out more and more things on their own. The teacher could help them get more materials which could help them in their project; children can be made to realise through such projects that there are many people in this world whose dress, life-style, customs and religion may be different while their problems and needs may be much the same as their own as in most Third World countries. In this way children can be introduced to concepts of basic rights such as the right to freedom of movement, the right to an adequate standard of living or the right to work.

    In fact, school is such a place where human rights can be taught in a variety of ways which children find interesting. Like they can be asked to sing folk songs, relate stories and recite poems. When these things are shared it will awaken feelings of friendliness, sympathy, understanding and compassion towards children in other countries. Even stories of great leaders create a feeling of pride especially stories relating to the freedom struggle. Paintings, plays, dramas and photographs help create ideas of peace and friendliness.

    Some other projects can relate to health, hygiene and diet. Pupil teachers may be asked to take up such project. For instance, they conduct a survey in the locality about what kind of food is eaten and the conditions pertaining to health and hygiene. The incidence of different kinds of diseases can be found. For example, water bourne diseases may have a high incidence in a locality. Also the Primary Health Centres or hospitals in the locality may be visited. From this will emerge suggestions for teaching the common problems related to health, hygiene and diet. It may be brought home to the mind and heart of the children that all human beings have a right to a healthy living, hygienic surroundings and a balanced diet for optimum physical and mental development. They can, then, reflect upon the solution to these problems.

    2.5.5 Dramatic and Literary Activities

    One very interesting way of motivating children to any activity is dramatics. Children like dramas and love to dramatize. They like to visualize themselves as the hero or the heroine of any action whether tragedy or comedy. Role playing comes natural to them. So why not make use of this particular interest of children and ask them to put up plays in which they be showed as the saviour of situation. It will be an interesting activity and other children who, even though, might not be participating in it would love to watch it. So the teacher should encourage any such interest on the part of the children and help motivate them by providing them with books and relevant materials.

    Even the study of major literary and artistic works provide a positive stimulus in education for Human Rights, international understanding and peace. The teacher must give a special place to any composition or creation which the children have produced themselves in any form — songs, pictures, shows, plays, drawings, paintings, sculpture etc. — expressing their own hopes and desires. Here again they may be encouraged to take up themes related to human rights and their practice. If in a drama, human rights are shown to be violated, it may be pointed out and their reactions gathered.

    CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 4

    a) Suggest a project related with the topic Energy incorporating Human Rights in it.

    b) Suggest one co-curricular activity which can be helpful in teaching language incorporating Human Rights.

    2.6 LET US SUM UP

    In this unit we began by discussing the need and importance of Human Rights Education at the elementary stage. We went on to reflect upon the child at this stage. It was inferred that we need to catch them young for developing positive attitudes towards human rights. Also, the child has tremendous potential to learn and be moulded in a desirable direction. Some important Rights of the child were then listed and we went on to talk about the elementary curriculum, its content in different subject areas and how human rights can be incorporated while transacting this curriculum in the class room. In the end certain curricular and cocurricular activities were suggested for adoption in order to incorporate human rights education at this stage.

    2.7 UNIT END ACTIVITIES

    a) Collect materials like stories, poems, plays, etc. which will help in incorporating Human Rights Education at the elementary stage.

    b) Prepare a report on the availability of basic amenities like drinking water, clothing, shelter, food and health in your locality, based on a survey. Give your observation as to what extent human rights for basic amenities is being fulfilled.

    2.8 CHECK YOUR PROGRESS : KEY

    1. (a) i) Education provides individuals with the capacity and motivation to act.
     

    ii) All our children should know about human rights from the very beginning.

    iii) Human Rights are universal as we all belong to human kind.

    iv) Human Rights Education is applicable at all levels of education.

    v) It can highlight a sense of common humanity among children.

    (b)

    Select any two rights of the child from the list.

    2.(a)

    Take any topic and suggest how you will transact it incorporating human rights on the basis of the illustration given in the text.

    3. (a) Two activities can be:
      i) Compare and contrast the living conditions in different states. This will lead to the idea of diversity in the country in different states. Then a discussion can emerge wherein the teacher can direct the pupils to understand the underlying unity and humanity among the people living in different states.
      ii) Find out how different states are interdependent and so again the idea of common grounds and the need to respect and accept others will emerge.
    4. (a) A project can be taken on Conservation of Energy and its relation to Environmental Protection leading to the human right to healthy environment.
    (b) Students can be asked to discuss any one of the human rights in groups or pairs. Then they can be asked to write on it and then some of them can make a presentation of it in front of the class. Teacher should ensure total participation for language development as well as thinking on human rights.

    APPENDIX

    2.9 DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (1959)

    (1) The child shall enjoy the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.

    (2) The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

    (3) The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.

    (4) The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate prenatal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

    (5) The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

    (6) The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

    (7) The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.

    (8) The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.

    The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.

    (9) The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.

    You have the right to be protected against cruel acts or exploitation, e.g., you shall not be obliged to do work which hinders your development both physically and mentally.

    You should not work before a minimum age and never when that would hinder your health, and your moral and physical development. The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.

    (10) The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

    (11) The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the services of his fellow men.

     

    Unit 2 Human Rights Education and the Elementary Level Curriculum
    (Mahesh Chand Sharma, Anita Dev Raj, Kuldeep Agarwal)

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