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Teacher Education

On 9th November 2007 St Mary’s BEd 3 students took part in a conference entitled ‘Human Rights Education’.  A representative from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission started the conference with a talk on Human Rights education as it relates to a teacher’s role in the classroom. Workshops followed with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) facilitating activities on subjects ranging from conflict intervention to landmine removal to a child’s right to quality education. Participants were encouraged to consider how Human Rights education can play a critical role in the curriculum. Organisations such as Red Cross, Children in Crossfire and Save the Children were represented. UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) also conducted a workshop designed to make students think about laws and agreements such as the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child, created in part to secure a child’s right to quality education in safe surroundings. The fact that securing the rights of a child presents a special case (as most rights have to be provided by adults or the state) was considered. The activities also encouraged students to learn about how they can educate children about their rights. A plenary session followed to summarize what information had been gained in the workshops and to share this information with those present.