Issue 45

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By Una Murphy, VIEWdigital publisher,

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People Koulla Yiasouma told VIEW magazine that: “Kids have far greater imagination about the world than we do, they are looking forward and we are looking back.”

Her job is to safeguard the rights of children, and when it comes to education she would like to see lawmakers “promoting shared education over segregated education and integrated over everything else”.

The Commissioner wants young people’s voices to be heard in the education debate and she will call leaders to account “when they get it wrong”.

The right to education is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child “no matter who they are, regardless of race, gender or disability”.

This edition of VIEW seeks to give an insight into how a so-called ‘post-conflict’ society educates its children, with insights from Northern Ireland and Bosnia.

In particular, we investigate ‘shared’ and ‘integrated’ education models in Northern Ireland; we look at Omagh, Co Tyrone, where in August 1998 the town centre was devastated by a bomb which killed 29 people.

The spotlight on education also moves to Bosnia, where last year a group of pupils in the town of Jajce raised their voices against segregation by protesting in the streets, jointly displaying Bosnian and Croatian flags. We asked a local reporter for an update.

Teachers, as well as politicians, academics and campaigners have given us their views on educating children in Northern Ireland today. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition of VIEW. Especially our guest editor, columnist and commentator Alex Kane and the Community Relations Council who supported this issue.

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