Austrian Education Minister announces new measures to combat antisemitism in schools

Austrian Education Minister Martin Polaschek announced a package of measures to combat antisemitism.

“Teachers should be made aware of antisemitic incidents. Recommendations should be given on how to react against it” said Polaschek before the Council of Ministers.

For this purpose, contact points will be created in education departments.

The Ministry of Education also wants to revise curricula and textbooks.

According to Polaschek, the measures have another beneficial side effect: “Education makes young people resistant to false information.”

He called on teachers to point out content that promotes the fight against antisemitism in class and to “anchor it in the education system in the long term”.

The Ministry of Education and OeAD, the Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalization, have drawn up a strategy paper for school management, educational administration and teacher training and further education at teacher training colleges and universities for dealing with antisemitism.

The implementation of the strategy is supported by the Holocaust education program of the OeAD.

“Antisemitism must always be fought effectively, whether at the dinner table, in the football stadium, on social media or at school, regardless of how it is articulated,” emphasized President of the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG) Oskar Deutsch.

“Antisemitism is directed against the foundations of Austria and Europe and thus against all of us” expressed Deutsch.

Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler stuck to her wish, expressed a few years ago, that every student should visit a concentration camp memorial at least once during their school career.

Edtstadler wants to support this project financially and convey the importance of such a visit to teachers.

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