Sunday, 17 Jan 2021

We will NOT bow to the PC brigade! PM rejects calls for ‘woke’ school curriculum

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The demands by leftwingers would see writers like Shakespeare banned from the English curriculum and the Tudors and the war against Hitler stripped from history textbooks. The push to teach woke history and literature reflecting ethnic minorities had come from three petitions started by leftwing youth groups. It was the latest move by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of efforts to pull down statues and organisations like the National Trust, British Library and National Maritime Museum attempting to “reassess” the heroic status of figures like Churchill, Nelson and the poet Seamus Heaney. 

More than 260,000 people signed a petition to teach Britain’s colonial past as part of the compulsory curriculum, initiated by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson and Nell Bevan. 

Another two petitions, put forward by Yacoub Yasin and Cynthia Muthoni, had more than 115,000 signatures between them.

Jikemi-Pearson told MPs: “For my English literature A-level, I was taught Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility and a contemporary text by an Irish author. Throughout my entire A-level and school life, I never got to read a book with a person of colour in it.

“The only character I can think of is Bertha in Jane Eyre. She is a crazed, abusive wife, so it is not a positive portrayal. Sometimes I sat in that classroom thinking, ‘Why am I even here?’”

Yasin claimed that he dropped GCSE history because “the only time I had ever heard history of where I was from being spoken about was the British Raj and the element of being subservient”.

But a source close to Mr Williamson made it clear the education secretary will not be bowing to a politically correct agenda to eradicate British history and pride in the country;s traditions.

The source said : “The Education Secretary believes we mustn’t forget that this country has an incredibly rich history, and we should be incredibly proud of that history because time and time and time again, this country has made a difference and changed things for the better, right around the world.”

The issue had also been taken up by the Common Sense group of more than 60 Tory MPs who have been leading the fightback against the woke movements’ attempts to degenerate Britain’s past and culture.

Chairman of the group, Sir John Hayes described the bid to “dilute the literature canon of Western civilisation” as “deeply disturbing.”

He said: “Every child regardless of their background deserves the chance to know how our country became what it is today and to be able to classic texts including Shakespeare and the other greats of the English language.”

The row follows the Common Sense group writing to Boris Johnson last week with a five point plan to tackle the woke agenda and protect British history and culture.

It is understood that representatives of the group will be holding meetings with ministers next week to discuss the issues further.

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