The concept of human rights has evolved after a long struggle of humankind. In the two world wars, humankind suffered barbarous acts and grave human rights violations. After experiencing these horrible human rights violations, the international community comes up with momentous human rights instruments. The most important human right document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. It recognized the inherent dignity, equal and inalienable rights of the human family. The preamble of UNHDR exhorts that “every individual and every organ of the society has to strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms”. As a member of the international community, it is the responsibility of states, civil society organizations and individuals to promote human rights literacy and educate the members of the human family about their fundamental human rights.
The universally accepted rights, which every human being is entitled to by virtue of being human, irrespective of their background includes the right to life, right to peace, safety and security, right to health and education, right of freedom of expression, right to information, civil, political and other rights, etc. In order to ensure the compliance of these human rights, it is imperative to educate individuals about their rights. Human rights literacy will help people to understand universally accepted human rights, value human dignity and take responsibility for respecting, defending and promoting human rights. Therefore the first step for the enforcement and implementation of human rights is to ensure awareness and education of human rights, as the rights of one individual are the duty of another human being.
It is the responsibility of state and academic institutions to incorporate the concept of human rights in the education system. Human rights should be a part of the curriculum from primary to university level education. One of the important purposes of education is to promote peace, prosperity and developing a civic sense in the individual so they will be able to make a positive contribution to human society. Therefore the education system should incorporate the values of empathy and human rights so the student would be able to appreciate the human diversity, empower themselves by asking for their rights, fulfill their duties towards other human beings and make a positive contribution for the betterment of the world, we live in. Unfortunately, in contemporary times our education system has become so obsolete and it has limited its scope to only imparting information in the minds of young people. Due to which these young minds are unable to appreciate human diversity and creating issues.
In today’s world, due to advancements in science and technology, information is available on our fingertips. Every second new data and information is uploaded on the internet and every individual who has access to an internet connection may collect information about any topic within seconds. The purpose of the education system is not only to pour information in the minds of students but to teach the students to think, critically analyze and appreciate the human values. Our educational institutions are focusing on pouring information and evaluating the performance of its pupil by the amount of information they are able to retain and reproduce in the evaluation process. Which has led to the production of human robots who take pride in the system and live in bubbles grounded on the belief that everything is right. They are unable to challenge the status quo, critically evaluate the lacunas in our system and work to fill the gap and come up with creative solutions to the challenges of our world.
It’s time to reevaluate our education system and incorporate human rights and values in our education system. There is a need for a paradigm shift from information centered to the value-centered education system. There is a need to come up with educational institutions like Atlantic International University, which has incorporated the concept of human dignity, human rights and value system in its curriculum and pedagogies. It is not only focused on human rights literacy but also on working to promote integral human capabilities to think, creativity and appreciating diverse talents. The universal declaration of human rights not only enables human beings to live with dignity but also to develop and use one’s human qualities, intelligence, talents, and conscience. Therefore the Atlantic International University is working not only to promote human rights literacy but also to develop these human qualities. It encourages its students to think, be creative and focus on self-learning to find out solutions to world challenges.
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If we want peace, prosperity, and compliance of human rights enumerated in the international human rights instruments and incorporated in the domestic legislation, then we have to make some reforms in our education system. We have to establish institutions like Atlantic International University that has incorporated human values, human rights and human capabilities in its curriculum and pedagogies. Then only the students will be able to appreciate human diversity, promote pluralism, intellectual humility, fulfill their duties towards their fellow human beings and empower them by asking for their rights and representation. By incorporating these values we will be able to make our world a better place to live in.