Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Education : We can't hurt children and teenagers on their freedom !

"These are beautiful innocent children and teenagers – as are all children who are victims in these times of rage. This has really disturbed me. This world is going to a place I simply struggle to understand."

Michael Prest, Letters, The Guardian

Schools across the world are considering to help students understand the tragic events, in Manchester, UK, last night the 22th May 2017, after Ariana Grande's concert at the Manchester Arena targeted in an attack, when the 21,000-seat arena's foyer as fans left the concert.

An explosion in or around the foyer area that left thousands of people fleeing. Grande’s European tour, which was due to visit London before dates in Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Portugal has been suspended. 

Children are among the 22 killed and 119 injured in a suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. Did you listen their voices on the video above? They were so happy!

The American pop star, who was not hurt in the blast, tweeted that she was “broken” by news of casualties.

Ariana Grande pictured during the show at Manchester Arena
credits: Mnrnickynack/ Instagram

"broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

However on her official website not a single message or word pay tribute to young victims and their families.

However news said Ariana Grande offers to pay Manchester victims’ funerals. Is that enough for all her fans who look at the oficial website of their most loved pop singer.
It was revealed that Ariana Grande had cancelled her world tour following the horrific attack. The Grande’s European tour, which was due to visit London before dates in Belgium, Poland and Germany, was suspended. 

Can we even begin to feel the horror and concern of the parents and other adults who were at the venue clutching their children as they frantically sought a way out to safety? 

I watched the images and videos last night, a teenager (16-17-year-old) told she had heard the bang, knew immediately it was a bomb and, as per the Bataclan attack in Paris, feared that what would come next would be machine-gun fire. 

"What breeds this horror? What warped ideology causes you to forget the wrong in killing innocent youth – children as young as five – who were simply trying to enjoy an hour or two watching their star."

It was catastrophic for those young hearts watching their idol in the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Desperate parents took to social media yesterday and today to report their children missing and tragically, for some, their kids were never to return home.

A lucky mother and daughter

There are brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles who are now dead or badly injured in hospital. 

Many had worked and saved their money to give their children a special treat, to make them happy. What mad, sick, callous individual thinks doing this takes him or her anywhere but into the suffering of the hell that must await. 

These are beautiful innocent children and teenagers – as are all children who are victims in these times of rage. This has really disturbed me. This world is going to a place I simply don't understand or accept.

Sometimes, we
 wondering how to face the students and discussed such tragic events in the classroom. 

Students, watched television, read the news on the social networks, the oldest shared some cartoons on their profile photos, created by cartoonists all over the world.  And want to talk or make questions. 

The four young girls Georgina Callender (aged 18), Sattie Roussos (aged 8) Nell Jones (aged 14), Olivia Campbell (aged 15) are being remembered by parents, school mates and teachers.

Friends and teachers of the victims shed tears as they came together at her school to remember the beautiful young girls.*

They are all devastated by the loss and as a school community they must now come to terms with what has happened.

Tribute Manchester Arena victims
But not only at English schools. In Portugal, Portuguese teachers and I am sure a great number of teachers in the world held a minute's silence Tuesday, May 23 in their classrooms.

A great number of English and international schools are expressing the felings of the students on social networks.

Some of your students are expressing their feelings on such tragic events that are every where on the press, on television, social networks, even on the Manchester road.

And some of them, young-adults as social media users are sharing touching tributes to the victims of the killing. 

A candlelit vigil was held in Trafalgar Square from 6pm this evening


 “Go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much,” 

Olivia Campbell'mother

Schools are places of free speech.  Schools and teachers will be prepared to face students. And it’s just as clear that intimidation and violence will be condamned and combated for whatever reason they’re committed, especially if their goal is to undermine freedom and liberty of open societies.

How to talk about at school? I still remember September 11/2001, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Zurick, Nice, Alepo

How to find the right words when overcome with sorrow our own emotion, and every word that comes to our mind can frighten the small kids : attack, terrorists dead, mourning, run, bombs?

Teachers must impose their words or ideas of adults.It is with enormous sadness that some of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of their students.

The psychologists 
say that the best way is to start from the child heard or just ask "What you heard?" or "Did you hear what is going on right now What do you understand?"

A girl wearing a T-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester the day after

 Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Some thoughts: 

Of course after the first day in school, where it would probably - depending on age - a minute's silence, and had spoken with friends, kids and young people will have a partial and distorted view of the tragedy.

The important thing is to start with students words, to follow the thinking of the child or young-adult and not to impose our adult words. 

Back on their understanding is important because it has to be spoken, not to leave the child with what it will come up with some information that they had to correct what kids had not quite understand and answer questions. 

And of course, we don't forget our muslim students. They are in our classrooms. Their friends are their school mates.
Remembering the muslim taxi drivers who offered themselves to transport for free all the people abandoning Manchester Arena after the explosion the night (May 22).

More than ever, we must have the right word to express our emotion, our tears, our sorrow, but also our need for gathering and unity. 

"We tend to want to protect the children in our sorrow concerning the tragedy, but in toddlers 3 or 4 years, it can lead them to imagine terrible things, says the analyst.

It does not mean give details. This is the time to reaffirm that nothing can replace the word.

The oldest, high junior schools, will be happy to feel part of the adult community and stay with us to vigils, demonstrations, to "think in their head and in their heart to those who are not there" . 

In the coming days, the schools will serve as a sounding board for what is said in the family. 

The school should be a place where their questions and confusions are listened: What is Islam? What is a religion? Will it nasty religions?

It is also a debate that should have in the family. And not only when freedom is reached. It is not enough discussion of these topics.

I agree. Freedom starts at home and continues at school. Parents and schools or teachers have their own rules that must be respected for both sides parents/ teachers vs. kids/ students.

Teachers and parents. Just talk and share thoughts with your students or kids, no matter their age. Because they have a lot of questions, not just today, tomorrow and in the coming days. 

"No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood 


Copyright © 2017-Souto'sBlog,®

* For respect to the young girls, who deserve to preserve their privacy even after dead, I don't publish their photos.

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Education : We can't hurt children and teenagers on their freedom bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Schools : Let's talk about Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Today May 21 is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which encourages everyone to Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion today and every day all year long.

Held every year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. 

"Just as natural diversity is vital to sustain ecosystems, cultural diversity is the lifeblood of vibrant societies. Cultural diversity provides fresh ideas and perspectives that enrich our lives in countless ways, allowing us all to grow and thrive together. A culturally diverse classroom is not only more inclusive, it boosts student learning and achievement. A culturally diverse workplace is not only more innovative, it is also more productive and economically profitable."

Irina Bokova, Director-general Unesco, message 2017


  • Support sustainable systems of governance for culture

  • Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professional

  • Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

  • Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms

The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration onCultural Diversity, recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.”

On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention, the United Nations proclaimed 2002 Year for Cultural Heritage in order to focus international commitment to the cultural heritage cause and attract public awareness, in particular young people.

 The UN Year for Cultural Heritage 2002


The year 2002 was the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. At the end of that year, on December 20, 2002, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was first observed in 2003.

With the adoption in September 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations, and the Resolution A/C.2/70/L.59 on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 , the message of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is more important than ever. 

credits: Elyx Yak/ UN

The 17Sustainable Development Goals can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures, and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from sustainable development. 

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an occasion to promote culture and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change. 

It represents an opportunity to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to creative industries, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.

All are invited to join in, and promote the values of cultural diversity, dialogue and development across our globe. 


"A culturally diverse classroom is not only more inclusive, it boosts student learning and achievement. A culturally diverse workplace is not only more innovative, it is also more productive and economically profitable."

Irina Bokova, Director-general Unesco, message 2017

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development tends to be marked in countries that embraced their varied cultural history and acknowledged the importance of embracing it.

Remember similar celebrations as The International Day of the World's Indigenous People or World Science Day for Peace & Development shared on this blog as resources to school teachers.

Human rights, cultural and linguistic diversity, local traditions are good subjects to include and discuss in school curricula (in and around) by using ICT and social participatory media in the classroom.

Students were very excited about these themes and participated with enthusiam in different activities.

Learners are curious about other cultures and traditions. Let students participate in different activities by doing ONE thing for diversity:

The students are very curious about other cultures and traditions and love to learn about it. They are also so creative that we can not forget to push this creativity for cultural dialogue and development.


  • Learn another language with a native speaker and practice it with him/her regularly! Becoming pen-pals (hand wirting or online) with students from different geographic and religious backgrounds through social media to discuss their experiences, differences and things they have in common (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, other);
  • Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures;
  • Listen a musical tradition from a different culture;
  • Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; 
  • Plan a school exhibition to help the students and other teachers understand the history of various cultural groups and the influence on their own identities;
  • Invite foreign artists who lived in your country, city, to give a live interview (via Skype, Facebook, Google + hangout), explaining the positive influence their “hosting” culture has had on their work and artistic evolution;
  • Play a sport related to a different culture (Karate, Cricket, Pétanque, Jogo do pau, Capoeira, other)
  • If you and your school are going on educational field trips, during the visit to a new country, go off the beaten track, mingle with the locals and discover things about their culture that the tour-guide is ignorant of!
  • Dedicate a class on how cultures have influenced one another: a Chinese proverb can also be found in the Arabic tradition; backgammon is also played in Iran and Greece and tattoos are used in South America and Africa.

"Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” In this spirit, I believe that we need a new humanism for the 21st century, to renew the fundamental aspirations to justice, mutual understanding and dignity that guide all women and men."

Irina Bokova, Director-general Unesco, message 2017


Copyright © 2017-Souto'sBlog,®

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Schools : Let's talk about Culture Diversity, for Dialogue and Development bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.