Unesco and the European Commission have launched a new research project to assess the leven of education about the Holocaust and other genocides in the European Union.
The announcement about the project was made a day before Europe observed the 2016 Holocaust Memorial Day. The study is entitled The Holocaust and Genocide in Contemporary Education: Curricula, Textbooks and Pupils' Perceptions in Comparison. The project will offer an analysis of how the genocide of Jews has been represented in textbooks in EU member countries and what is the perception of students about the horrific chapter of World War Two. The study will be carried out in partnership with Germany's Georg Eckert Institute.
"The project will provide education stakeholders and Holocaust and genocide studies experts with an assessment of representations of the genocide of the Jewish people and of other crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its collaborators, while also assessing the understanding of other genocides within educational media," an official statement read.
The research is also expected to provide comparison of Holocaust and genocide representations in classroom teachings. It is seen as an imperative move as the last generation of Nazi holocaust survivors are gradually disappearing, the statement added.
According to researchers, the study also comes around an apt time when genocides continue to occur in other parts of the world and when Europe is once again witnessing rise in anti-Semitism as millions of Syrian refugees take shelter across the continent.
Even a recent government report revealed that "too many" UK's teachers needed support to teach children about the Holocaust "correctly".
"Education stakeholders, who are committed to ensuring that the Holocaust and genocide are known and understood among European citizens, are faced with new challenges," the researchers said. They hope that the new study will help develop good practice and policy in the field of curriculum and learning.
Unesco adopted a resolution on Holocaust remembrance through education in 2007. The resolution recognised teaching about the history of the Holocaust as a fundamental to establish respect for human rights, basic freedoms and the values of tolerance and mutual respect. Under the decree, "UN member states are encouraged to develop educational programmes that transmit the memory of the Holocaust to future generations so as to prevent genocide from occurring again."