Vårt Land, editorial on 2014 10 21, is on the coverage of the situation for Norway’s Jews in today’s educational system, stating this is strongly neglected.
If textbooks in schools are to be believed; anti-Semitism was a phenomenon existing during WW2, discrimination of Norwegian Travelers took part in the old days, and the Sámi have received their just place in Norwegian Community.
True enough; today’s anti-Semitism is not expressed through industrial scale mass murders; like Hitler did. Norwegian Travelers are not being subjected to forced sterilization; the Sami have a parliament and are recognized as a first nation and as cultural enrichers.
The fact affairs are not as bad as they used to be does not hold the meaning all problems are gone, living as a minority community member is not a rose tainted existence in today’s community. For this reason, it is of importance schools present minority issues not like a problem in history, being closed chapters, but rather as something to be seen as part of today’s social realities.
One has become aware of the fact Islam cannot be presented in a way making Muslim students feel they are outside community; being depicted as “others”; as viewed by the Norwegian community’s standpoint. It has however not been realized that Jews perhaps have the same experience. And Norwegian Travelers and the Sami may experience their culture being branded something strange, out of the past.
It is of particular importance to have anti-Semitism put on the agenda; this being a reality in today’s schoolyards. Jewish children resident in Norway dare not allow to let other students know about their Jewishness. ‘Jew’ has been reintroduced as an expletive among Norwegian youth.
This may be a demanding theme in education to many teachers; as the new anti-Semitism may be connected to Israeli policies, thereby becoming a controversial theme. And because students of a Muslim background may have taken these attitudes with them from their homes.
For this reason, it becomes ever more important that teachers are allowed the possession of educational material convenient in education; and educational targets making it impossible to avoid themes which are difficult. This will also lead to this being part of the curriculum in social sciences and religion, philosophy and ethics.
Teachers may feel overwhelmed over everything community demands to be part of school. However, if schools are supposed to create valuable humans, able to pass on democracy, the understanding of minorities and their rights have to be conveyed.
This is one of the most important criteria of true democracy we are talking of: respect to