British school-aged children should be taught the benefits of the British Empire, the UK’s Iraqi-born Education Minister has argued.
Nadhim Zahawi, Britain’s Education Secretary, has said that kids in school should be taught the benefits that the British Empire, as well as its negatives.
The Iraqi-born politician is only the latest senior Conservative Party member from a minority background to call for a reframing of how the history of the British Empire is taught in UK schools, with the country’s Levelling Up minister having also previously called for a perspective change.
According to a report by The Times, Zahawi said that the British Empire brought benefits to the lands it colonised, often leaving beneficial structures in place even after power was returned to local populations.
“Let me give you an example,” the Education Secretary said. “You know that my parents fled Iraq because of Saddam Hussein.”
“If you asked Iraqis before the Ba’athist regime came into office — Saddam’s cronies and criminals — Iraq was left a legacy of a British civil service system that actually served the country incredibly well for many, many decades,” he continued.
“That’s the sort of thing that actually children should be learning about, and, of course, all aspects of Empire,” he also said.
Zahawi also put great emphasis on schools being used to teach kids how to think, and not what to think, though reportedly dodged a question regarding whether or not he was worried about “wokeness” in British education.
“The important thing is to remember to teach children how to think but not what to think,” he said. “If we all focus on that, then we will do a great job for those young minds.”
The education minister also said that it was important that educators in schools “teach children how to how to have those inquiring, inquisitive minds rather than bringing in our own politics or otherwise into the class”.
“As long as teachers are giving students the ability to stress-test arguments, to be able to see both sides, that is a great thing,” he reportedly concluded.
Jamaica’s prime minister has said his Jamaica Labour Party will put forward a bill to replace the Queen with “a non-executive president as head of state” — an option which would leave his own powers unchanged https://t.co/slQ9S3tQFQ
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Zahawi is only the latest Conservative politician from a minority background to come out in support of teaching the positive aspects of the British Empire, with the country’s Nigerian-born Levelling Up Minister, Kemi Badenoch, previously raising the issue last week.
“Too many children are now taught to see themselves as victims rather than just the latest generation of an ever-evolving story,” Badenoch is reported as saying.
“I don’t think that the former is helpful. I think the latter is,” she also claimed, emphasising how she was taught in Nigeria about all the “good things” that came with British colonialism, as well as all the “terrible things”.
Badenoch went on to discuss how the UK’s history curriculum was being rewritten under her government so as to “weaves in all the different facets of different ethnicities into the story of Britain, without making it seem like one particular ethnic group or skin colour owns this type of history”.
“The plans will ensure that children from all backgrounds are taught to see black, Asian and white historical figures as their history rather than a ‘segregated history’,” the Conservative Party politician also said. “British history belongs to all of us.”
Whoopi Goldberg, demanded the royals atone for historic British colonialism and accused Britain of running “ram shod [sic] over India for years.” https://t.co/tFeEvxKD2O
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