Public Defender’s Statement on Curriculum of Subject "I and Society"
A new subject - "I and society", initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, has caused much excitement in the recent period. According to the new national curriculum, the subject will be taught in the 3rd and 4th grades.
At this stage, the Department of the National Curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Science has prepared only a draft curriculum (standards and annual program) of the subject.
The Public Defenderconsiders that objectives of the subject - to help students develop the sense of responsibility and a caring attitude towards himself/herself, family, community, natural environment and cultural heritage - are fully consistent with the goals of general education and the Constitution of Georgia.
The Public Defenderpositively assesses the content of the curriculum, according to which, the subject must encourage development of creative and critical thinking skills among students, positive attitudes towards humane values and cultural diversity, as well as towards discovery and search for novelties.
The Public Defender considers that the subject "I and society" should be based on Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that education ,,should encourage understanding, peace and friendship between all nations, racial or religious groups", and also on Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides that “Education of the child shall be directed to the preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin”.
The Public Defender recommends the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia not only to strengthen the tradition of tolerance through this subject, but also to further promote development of the culture of tolerance at schools, and to base these activities on the UNESCO Declaration of principles on tolerance (16 November 1995), according to which, “tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace”.