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4. Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of Member States’ Governments meeting within the Council on the response of educational systems to the problems of racism and xenophobia (1995)
(Adopted by the Council of the European Union and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, 95/C 312/01, 23 October 1995)

THE COUNCIL AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERMENTS OF THE MEMBERS STATES MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL:

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HAVE ADOPTED THIS RESOLUTION:

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II. The role of the educational system in contributing to the struggle against racist and xenophobic attitudes

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[...], European educational systems should continue as well as enhance their efforts at promoting education in values which encourage attitudes of solidarity and tolerance, as well as respect for democracy and human rights.

Educational systems are able to make a valuable contribution to the promotion of respect, tolerance and solidarity towards individuals or collectivities of different ethnic or cultural origin or religious belief by measures such as the following:

— use of teaching materials (manuals, texts, audio-visual resources, etc.) reflecting the cultural diversity of European society,
— specific integration initiatives aimed at pupils and students who, given their social situation, may be susceptible to racist and/or xenophobic influences. In particular, specific programmes should be implemented in areas where the incidence of social exclusion is most pronounced,
— reinforcing areas of education which can help provide a better understanding of the nature of a multicultural society, in particular, history, human sciences and language teaching,
— promoting the formation of partnerships between educational establishments and between pupils with the aim of encouraging activities which will check the growth of racist and xenophobic attitudes.

The teacher plays a critical role in forming pupils’ attitudes from an early age. The new challenges posed by teaching children with very different social and cultural backgrounds makes a significant professional demand on teachers. Within this context, the education and development of present and future teachers is an important area for cooperation between Member States.

Exchange of experience, in order to take advantage of cultural diversity between different educational institutions, contribute to the improvement of cooperation in education.

The administration of schools plays a very important role in promoting acceptance of and respect for other cultures. However, schools alone cannot resolve the problems concerned. Cooperation between schools and their environment is therefore desirable. Educational establishments, particularly schools, can promote partnerships with representatives of parents, teachers and children, enhancing the quality of the education in various school activities and enabling schools to be a meeting-point for families of diverse origin.

In conclusion, THE COUNCIL AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEMBER STATES’ GOVERNMENTS:

INVITE the Member States:

1. to foster the provision of education and training of quality, enabling all children to fulfil their potential and play a role in the community;

2. to enhance the flexibility of educational systems so that they can respond to complex situations and thus promote plurality in curricula;

3. to promote educational and curricular innovations which contribute to the development of concepts such as peace, democracy, respect and equality between cultures, tolerance, cooperation, etc. and encourage the preparation of educational materials designed to foster attitudes and values favourable to understanding and tolerance;

4. to encourage initiatives promoting cooperation between schools and their local communities;

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INVITE the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States:

1. to exploit fully and ensure coherence among all Community programmes which promote education and training aspects of the struggle against racism and xenophobia, in particular those which assist initiatives among the local community;

2. to exploit in particular the parts of the Socrates programme involved with the problems concerned, including school partnerships, exchanges of experience on intercultural matters and teacher training;

3. to assist in the exchange of experience by collecting and disseminating information about the contribution of European educational systems in combatting racism and xenophobia and the integration of people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;

4. to ensure that in the field of education appropriate cooperation in combatting racism and xenophobia is achieved between the Community and international organizations, especially the Council of Europe.