This year marked the 20th anniversary of the genocide – the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War, which saw more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys systematically murdered because of who they were.
The UK charity Remembering Srebrenica has created a comprehensive set of lesson plans that teachers can use across the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Dr Allan launched the education resource at Portobello High School, in Edinburgh, where he met children who will be using the materials.
Launching the education pack, Dr Allan, pictured above with pupils, said:
The Srebrenica genocide is a dark chapter in European history, the scale of which is still difficult to comprehend. Scotland is a nation of compassion and acceptance and we want to see racial and religious prejudice, wherever it occurs, consigned to the past. Events such as Srebrenica, and the recent atrocities in Paris, are tragedies that we must learn from and that’s why we must do all we can to educate our future generations.
“This lesson pack will help us all to remember and learn from the failure to protect Srebrenica. The Scottish Government will continue to work to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica genocide through education, commemoration and close relations with Remembering Srebrenica Scotland. Any form of hate crime is against the law, is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in 21st century Scotland.”
The charity worked with experts at Education Scotland to ensure that the pack is suitable for use across the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. The resource is designed to help pupils understand the behaviours and influences around them that can either build or damage a cohesive community. It also helps to raise awareness of the genocide. Teachers can download the pack here.
Portobello High School Head Teacher Ruth McKay said:
Inclusive schools build inclusive societies. By giving our young people opportunities to explore events such as those in Srebrenica, we support them in developing strong values and becoming active, engaged, global citizens able to create cohesive communities for the future.”
Portobello High pupils Helen McBrierty and Alex Scotford, both aged 17, said:
“No-one deserves hatred. Let’s keep children’s rights universal regardless of their race or background. No child is born different.”
Remembering Srebrenica Scotland chairman The Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood said:
The 1995 Srebrenica genocide shamed Europe and shamed the world. It now stands for one of the darkest chapters of European history, yet knowledge of what took place is still low. It is crucial that Scotland’s children learn the lessons from this stain on humanity’s conscience.
“Hatred can destroy communities and divide families, friends and neighbours. Remembering Srebrenica is delighted to have produced this excellent educational tool that will help teachers to play their part in creating a better, and stronger safer society for everyone in Scotland.”
Remembering Srebrenica has produced the teaching resources as part of its commitment to promote social cohesion and work with young people to build strong community relations in the UK.