Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO. Presentation CULTURAL DIVERSITY FOR DIALOGUE AND DEVELOPMENT GUYANA HIGH SCHOOLS Bishops’ High , Brickdam Secondary, Central High , St. Joseph’s High, St. Rose’s High, St. Stanislaus College . June 14 th 2013 by
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CULTURAL DIVERSITY FOR DIALOGUE AND DEVELOPMENT GUYANA HIGH SCHOOLS
Bishops’ High, Brickdam Secondary, Central High ,
St. Joseph’s High, St. Rose’s High, St. Stanislaus College .
June 14th 2013
Dr. Vashti Singh
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
inaugurated on November 4,1946
196 Member States and 8 Associated Members
UNESCO Office in Kingston , Jamaica:
Cluster Office to the Caribbean Region including
Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago
UNESCO’s aim: to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, sciences, culture, communication and information.
Culture prom0tes cultural acceptance but also the maintenance of cultural diversity as well as the protection of cultural heritage.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2002 and is celebrated each year on 21st May.
The day provides people across the globe with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of what cultural diversity means in their everyday lives and its interconnectedness with dialogue and development.
The UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity
Art.1. Culture takes diverse forms across time and space.This diversity is embroiled in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind.
Art.4. Cultural diversity implies a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms , in particular the rights of persons belonging to minorities and those of indigenous peoples.
Art.7. Cultural heritage in all its forms must be preserved , enhanced and handed down to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations , so far as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to impose genuine dialogue among cultures.
“Expressions of the mind: Philosophy and the Making of the Caribbean Nation”- Professor Rex Nettleford.
The typical Caribbean person: part African, part European, part Asian , part Native American but totally Caribbean.
The awesome complexity of Caribbean life and culture ranges from language and religion to artistic manifestation in the literary, performing and visual artsis more than “the binary syndrome of Europe suggests.”
“The Caribbean’s Diversity is also a matter of the creative mind…That very mind also constructs for the intellect and the imagination, a bastion of discreet identities as well as quarries of very invaluable raw material that can be used to build bridged across cultural boundaries.”
Culture in its broadest sense undergirds the Caribbean’s educational system: as an expression of creative intellect and creative imagination , it requires greater focused attention on dialogue for the building of bridges in the development process.
Intercultural means that “equitable exchange and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples based on a mutual understanding and respect and the equal dignity of all cultures is the essential prerequisite for constructing social cohesion, reconciliation among peoples and peace among nations’’(UNECO’s action as a part of the global framework of an Alliance of Civilizations launched by the United Nations,2005).
For the 21st century, cultural diversity in the Caribbean needs to be addressed in terms of dialogue , creative capacities , and new specific challenges it may present for educational systems, minority groups ,inequalities , the digital divide, preservation of cultural heritage (material and symbolic),news and entertainment media and the business world . Thus, a number of new pathways may emerge for development strategies towards poverty eradication , environmental action and human- centred governance.
Cultural Diversity widens the range of options open to everyone; it is one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth ,but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory ,intellectual ,emotional , moral and spiritual existence.
Saint Lucia’s Didicus Jules (Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) based in Barbados)-Rethinking Education in the Caribbean(2010).
Caribbean Education must produce the Ideal Caribbean Person in accordance with UNESCO imperatives for Learning: Learn to Live Together, Learn to Be, Learn to Do, Learn to Learn. Such a person is described as an individual who:
Is imbued with a respect for human life since it is the foundation on which all other desired values must rest
Is emotionally secure with a high level of self-confidence and self-esteem
Sees ethnic , religious and other diversity as a source of potential strength and richness
Is aware of the importance of living in harmony with the environment
Has a strong appreciation of family and kinship values, community cohesion, and moral issues including responsibility for and accountability to self and community
Has an informed sense of cultural heritage
Nourishes in him/herself and in others, the fullest development of each person’s potential without gender stereotyping and embraces differences and similarities between females and males as a source of mutual strength
Demonstrates a positive work ethic
Demonstrates multiple literacies , independent and critical thinking , questions the beliefs and practices of past and present and brings this to bear on the innovative application of science and technology to problem solving
Values and displays creative imagination in its various manifestations and nurtures its development in the economic and entrepreneurial spheres in all other areas of life
Has developed the capacity to create and take advantage of opportunities to control, improve, maintain and promote physical , mental social and spiritual well-being to contribute to the health and welfare of the community and country
Adopted by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM)- (Education for All in the Caribbean: Plan of Action 2000-2015).
A Critical Need: we must reach out to youth movements across all Caribbean countries to enhance their knowledge on the diversity of cultures for increased dialogue, social cohesion and peace and development.
From Dialogue to Action: Youths are imperative for building a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and everyday life gestures in their schools ,homes , communities and the wider society.
UNESCO Clubs: they can play an instrumental role in the move from Dialogue to Action for meaningful change.
It is vital to let all youths around the globe come in the mainstream of the global development and mitigate hazards lying in the world via dialogue and mutual understanding ( Bibhu Luitel – Nepal).
We now live in a global village and we are in one single family. Its our responsibility to bring friendship and love from all different places around the world to live together in peace(Jackie Chan).
All we are saying is give peace a chance(John Lennon).
Be the change you want to see in the world(Mohandas K. Gandhi).