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The ceremony for presenting the award of "2007 'Anti-discrimination in schools' Educational Design"

The ceremony for presenting the award of "2007 'Anti-discrimination in schools' Educational Design"
The second article of "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" states clearly that: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty." However, discrimination is still prevalent in modern societies. There's sexism, racism, discrimination against physically handicapped, mentally handicapped, the mentally ill, recovering drug addicts, the elderly, and even the less fortunate among us. It is particularly more important to find and eradicate discriminations in schools because the establishment of the foundation of views for students begins in schools and the future of students will be vastly affected if that environment is contaminated.

To help bringing to light the issues of discrimination in schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been sponsoring "Anti-discrimination in schools " educational design selection activities to encourage teachers in primary and secondary schools to incorporate their observations and teaching experiences into designing teaching materials and help students to understand the importance of fighting against discrimination and also to build a firm foundation of the ideals of human rights in educational activities.

At the award ceremony, Dr. Lu Mu Lin, the Political Deputy Minister of the MOE, expressed that all people deserve the same rights regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, or income. She expressed the desire to eradicate discrimination from families, societies, and schools and she hopes to work with teachers on this issue.

At the ceremony, 1 grand prize, 2 first place and 8 second place grand prize winners will be selected from the Elementary School Group; 1 grand prize, 2 first place and 5 second place will be selected from the Middle School Group; 2 first place and 2 second place grand prize winners will be selected from the High School Group. For their works please refer to the official page of the Ministry at for details.

Ms. Chen Su-Feng, a teacher from Cianjhen Elementary School in Kaohsiung City and the grand prize winner of the elementary group, incorporates a special theme "We are all different but we can all respect each other and be friends" into her teaching materials. During class, she acts, plays different characters, and interacts with students using acting to educate the students the concept of anti-discrimination and teaches them how to stop discrimination.

Ms. Dai Mei-Wen, a teacher from Wangli Middle School in Taipei County, Ms. Huang Chun-Mei from Shenkeng Middle School in Taipei County, and Ms. Li Wang-Cien from Nanxi Middle School in Tainan County, have won the grand prize for the middle school group. Using "equality, respect, empathy" as the theme, they have been encouraging students to examine the space, facilities and interactions among people in school to find any inequality and disrespect. During English lessons, using affirmative and negative words, these teachers have slowly introduced the concept of fairness and have help the students to sympathize without patronizing the things and people around them. In math lessons, they have using applications to represent, research and discuss solutions, and finally, in Civics Class, these teachers use realistic examples utilizing article 7 of the Taiwanese Constitution to encourage students to discuss solutions for inadequate facilities, acts of bullying and even blackmailing.

Ms. Liu Jhen-Ling from Jingmei Girls High School, Taipei City, who designed materials with the concept "Size doesn't matter; healthy is beautiful", have won the grand prize of the high school/trade school group. She have been teaching students to stop using the "perfect figure" as the standard to judge people's shapes by and to learn to appreciate the beauty in different body forms, and from there, students have learned how to identify discrimination and how to stop discrimination in daily life.

We hope the schools continue taking "anti-discrimination" stands, treat the issues with care and respect, and continue to on the look out for any discrimination activities and seek solutions to resolve these issues. Let's foster children who can understand and appreciate diversity using our educational tools, and eventually develop all the people in Taiwan into world-class citizens that will earn respect of all nations.

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