The Citizenship and Democracy in School project arrives in Paraíba

From March 4-6, the Educational Policies Program of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) joined with its partners from the Paraiba State Secretary of Education and the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil to organize an event under the banner of the Educational Policies Program’s Citizenship and Democracy in School project. The event, held in the city of João Pessoa in Paraíba, Brazil, provided training to a total of 40 participating educators.

Instructors from the comprehensive public education system and the socioeducational system (a pedagogical measure implemented to work with children and youths who have committed legal infractions) were divided into two cohorts for training at the Escola Cidadã Integral Técnica Osvaldo Pessoa. The curriculum featured lectures and activities for teachers that would prepare them for classroom implementation of the Citizenship and Democracy in School project throughout the elective year of 2020.

In accordance with the methodologies and themes of the project proposal, attending instructors had an opportunity to discuss topics such as identity, diversity, human rights, democracy, and participation in educommunication with specialists who participated in the event. Over the course of the training, several of the activities contained in the methodological workbook developed by AIPG entitled “Citizenship and Democracy in School” were conducted with the objective of familiarizing the participating educators with them for effective replication in the classroom.

During the first day of the training, educators were introduced of the work of the Auschwitz Institute and the methodological proposals that came as a result of the Citizenship and Democracy in School project. Mirroring the thematic axes of the project, attendees participated in instructional modules on the topics of “Identity and Diversity” and “Human Dignity, Prejudice, and Discrimination.” Both of these sessions were led by Dr. Clara Ramírez Barat, the Director of the Auschwitz Institute’s Educational Policies Program.

The second day of the event began with a lecture entitled “Personal Dignity and Human Rights: Historical and Philosophical Fundamentals,” delivered by Dr. Luciano Maia, Brazilian national Public Prosecutor and Auschwitz Institute alumnus. The second group of educators, for their part, received a lecture on the same themes from Regional Deputy Prosecutor for the Rights of the Citizen, Dr. José Godoy.

In order to bring the issue of human rights closer to scholastic reality, the program included a lecture entitled “How to bring human rights to the classroom?” The module was taught by pedagogy expert Tatiana Pinangé, who is also the director of a socioeducational school and a member of the State Secretariat for Education, Science, and Technology of Paraíba.

Dr. Anderson Rafael and Dr. Maria Nazaré Zenaide also participated in the training, speaking about democratic citizenship and participation, while researcher Claviano Sousa from the Federal University of Paraíba delivered a lecture on educommunication. The event was also attended by Rosi Farias, a consultant hired by the Auschwitz Institute to work on the implementation of the project in Paraíba schools during the 2020 academic year. The training ended with a group planning session, in which the educators worked to define the subsequent steps of the project. In total, 23 schools will be working on the proposed project throughout the year 2020.

Amanda Petraglia, AIPG; Rosi Farias and Gilson França, Secretariat of Education, Paraíba

For Clara Ramírez Barat, Director of Educational Policies at the Auschwitz Institute:

The training achieved its objective and managed to address relevant themes for the implementation of the broader project, equipping teachers with the theoretical and practical tools necessary for the continued development of the proposal. During each day of the event, the level of participation on the part of the attending teachers was truly remarkable. The enthusiasm for, and confidence in, the Institute’s work that they showed is a guarantee that the project will successfully reach students in Paraíba.

In addition to the creation of an elective course in the state of São Paulo on “Rights and Citizenship” that is based on the project, over the coming weeks, the Auschwitz Institute is planning to organize two additional training seminars with educators in the Federal District of Brasilia and state of Rio Grande do Sul.