Lest they forget

10th November 2000 at 00:00
A NEW education pack to help schools teach young people about the significance of the Holocaust was unveiled by the Government this week.

The initiative is one of many projects marking the first Holocaust Memorial Day, due to take place on January 27.

Although mainly aimed at secondary schools, the pack also includes assembly ideas for younger children, as well as resources that can be used by youth and community groups.

Pupils chosen by their schools and the Holocaust Educational Trust to go on day-trips to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz this week met education minister Jacqui Smith at the Department for Education and Employment.

Ammit Jassi, 17, a student at Vyners School in Uxbridge, London, will be visiting the Polish site next week.

He said: "When I told my classmates I was going on a visit to Auschwitz, you could tell by the look on their faces that they barely knew what or where it was.

"I am not Jewish but I think it is really important that more is done in schools to teach young people about the Holocaust so that it never happens again."

Laura Hitchcock, 16, from Thomas Tallis school, idbrooke, south-east London, who has already visited the camp, said:

"A lot of my grandparents' families were sent to Auschwitz, so it has special significance to me. But I think it is significant for everyone, whether Jewish or not.

"When I visited Auschwitz, it changed my whole life. It shows you how dangerous racism, prejudice and intolerance can be."

The pack, which will go out to schools and youth groups all over the country, contains ideas for lessons and projects that can be incorporated by schools into syllabuses for history, English, religious education, personal, social and health education and citizenship.

It is designed to complement the elements of World War 2 and the Holocaust that are already taught during key stage 3 history.

Education Secretary David Blunkett said: "It is important that our children learn about how and why the Holocaust happened and about the victims of Nazi


"We must ensure that our children understand the value of diversity and tolerance to help achieve a society free from prejudice and racism in which all members can have a sense of belonging."

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