Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has this week called for the Scottish Government to include the teaching of Scotland’s colonial past, and historical and present race relations in the Scottish curriculum to help tackle racism.
Mrs Fellows, a former college lecturer, made calls in line with letters from constituents to support the Black Lives Matter movement and for Scotland’s curriculum to be updated.
She wants young people to be educated on Scotland’s exploitation and enslavement of Black and Minority Ethnic people and countries through the British Empire, and also teach people of how historical events have fostered racism today.
Mrs Fellows says that Scottish Ministers must listen to and work with Black and Minority Ethnic people here in Scotland, the groups which are representing them, and the Educational Institute for Scotland to incorporate these issues in the Scottish curriculum.
The USA, Scotland and the rest of the UK have seen protests sparked following the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by Minneapolis Police.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:
“My solidarity goes to everyone across the world protesting against racism. As a former educator, I know full well the importance of education in forming the worldview and attitudes of young people. Scotland’s youth must be educated on how we benefited – and continue to benefit – from the exploitative British Empire and how racism still exists today.
“Young people must learn about their country’s worst moments as well as their best. They must be under no illusions of Scotland’s role in the enslavement, exploitation and persecution of people of colour.
“As well as increasing awareness of our history, we must also teach our young people about the racism many people of colour still face today. This is essential to raise conscientious and inclusive adults and build a better Scotland. We must learn the mistakes of our past – and present – to ensure we do not repeat them in the future.”