Thursday, October 8, 2009

Turkey Leading Tolerance in Education

Last week, İstanbul has hosted some of the most significant figures involved in promoting tolerance and dialogue in education. Their meeting in İstanbul, a city comprising a mosaic of various cultures and religions, was noteworthy in this sense.

The Pedagogical Club of European Capitals gathered high-profile officials from educational institutions from 25 Asian and European countries in a conference entitled "Tolerance and Dialogue in Education" on Sept. 27-28 in İstanbul. Positive messages regarding tolerance in education were made throughout the conference. The delegates were provided with a comprehensive tour of İstanbul both before and after the conference leaving them with a lasting impression of the city.
The Dialogue Eurasia Platform (DEP) together with the İstanbul Municipal Education Administration and the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency launched the conference in İstanbul on Monday under the title of "Tolerance and Dialogue in Education" and concluded on Sept. 29 with policy recommendations for various institutions and governments from the participating countries. Speaking at the conference's opening ceremony, head of İstanbul Education Department Muammer Yıldız stressed the importance of education and communication.
Speaking at the conference, head of the Pedagogical Club of European Capitals, Boris Zhebrovski, said Turkey is a country leading in tolerance in education. "There are three key words in accomplishing major works: education, tolerance and understanding," Zhebrovski argued.
Pointing out the global threats in today's world, DEP co-Chair Harun Tokak said: "Global issues threaten us. There are dangers to our children like drugs, gambling, terror and war. These all alarm us. It is our responsibility to hold similar conferences." Adding to his points about global threats, he claimed that poverty is also one of the biggest problems the world is facing today. "Only education can help tackle these problems," Tokak said.
Co-chair of the DEP and honorary chair of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oriental Studies, Rostislav Rybakov delivered important messages to institute tolerance and dialogue in education thus paving the way for peace in the world. "The spiritual crisis is far more important than the deep economic recession, today," Rybakov stated, noting the tremendous danger children face with respect to problems associated with spirituality. "Only after tackling the spiritual crisis can mankind address the problems of the economic crisis," Rybakov said.
It was decided to send the outcomes of the conference and final policy recommendations released on Sept. 29 to the education ministries of participating countries, UNESCO and the UN.

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