Published in The Assam Tribune on Oct. 24 ::
The North East Diocesan Social Forum (NEDSF), in collaboration with the Assam Don Bosco University, Azara, organised a day-long ‘National Consultation on Human Rights Education in Schools’, in the city on Friday.
The main objective of the consultation was to encourage the inclusion of human rights education in the schools of the North-east and aimed at bringing together stakeholders involved in the process as well.
Justice Dr Aftab Hussain Saikia, Chairperson, Assam Human Rights Commission, who was the chief guest of the occasion spoke about how fundamental rights and duties were included in the Constitution of the country but not exercised or practised in reality.
“This is the reason that human rights education should be included at the school-level to lay the foundation of the understanding of such rights,” the Chairperson said.
Varghese Velikakam, executive director, NEDSF, spoke about the need of introducing human rights education in the schools and stated that human rights provided a standard of behaviour in the family and in the wider world.
Archbishop of Guwahati, Rev John Moolachira emphasised on the social teaching of the catholic churches in making way for human rights in education.
Babloo Loitongbam, director, Human Rights Alert, Imphal, who delivered the keynote address, said, “The human rights framework that exists today at the national and international level is elaborate, but the problem is in its implementation. It is, therefore, vital to impart human rights education in the schools to transform the violent-ridden societies of the North-east to a just and peaceful society.”
Students from schools like Sacred Heart, Tezpur; Holy Child, Guwahati; St Francis D Assiss, Boragaon; and Don Bosco, Sonaiguri participated in the consultation and shared their ideas on the necessity of human rights education in the curriculum and its effectiveness.
The consultation was attended by a number of participants representing policy-makers, school principals and teachers, NGO members, students, human rights activists, lawyers, rights-based organizations, among others.
The other dignitaries who were present on the occasion were Fr Ravi Sagar, Fr Linus Nelli, Rector Oriens Theological College, Shillong, Fr Paul Puduserry, among others.