School syllabus in the country should be re-written with a perspective of human rights to make the children better citizens, former Vice-Chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, V. Vasanthi Devi, said.

Speaking at a function organised to mark the launch of human rights education in the Corporation schools here on Thursday, she said that the attempt to re-visit the curriculum by the National Curriculum Framework should focus on human rights education. The fundamentals of United Nations Organisation’s goal of promoting friendship and discouraging war laid on awareness of human rights among the children, she said.

“Human rights education would uphold love, affection, equality and sense of democracy in the hearts of children,” she said.

Regretting that the present system of education revolved predominantly around examinations and memorising subjects, she said there was little space for educating values. “Human rights education will help students in self-realisation, know their rights and imbibe self-confidence,” she said.

She said the curriculum on human rights education promoted by the Institute of Human Rights Education (IHRE) available in nine languages was taught in 16 states in the country.

The Corporation Commissioner, S. Sebastine, said that even adults had little knowledge of human rights which led to violation. Students of Standard VI, VII and VIII of all the 67 Corporation schools would benefit from the programme.

The new curriculum should be able to bring about an attitudinal change among students, said former Vice-Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural University, G. Pankajam.

The Managing Director of the institute, Henri Tiphagne, wished that the new initiative helped evolve Madurai as a city of human rights. The Director of the institute, Devasagayam, and the Corporation Chief Educational Officer, Dhanalakshmi, were among those who spoke.

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