Hindus feel that segregation of children in Northern Ireland (NI) along religious lines is deplorable, disgraceful, embarrassing and morally indefensible; and should be urgently replaced by integration.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that we were well into the 21st century now, and NI should show some maturity and transform its outdated and massively segregated education system.
Schools were meant to build relationships and not to create barriers; and should be welcoming, inclusive and integrating communities. More shared spaces would be better for the overall well-being of NI; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, emphasized.
Rajan Zed pointed out that education should be shared together and educational systems should not be in the business of splitting children along religious profiles and augmenting the conflict. Segregation deepened the notion of “others” and should be discouraged.
Zed indicated that education should be helpful in dismantling old prejudices, creating harmony, healing social rifts and halting their hardening, and nourishing social cohesion. Wall of segregation in NI needed to go and children from diverse backgrounds should learn and play together. We as communities should explore the beliefs of “others” to understand each other better.
Rajan Zed noted that kids in the vulnerable age should not be exposed to the dangers of segregation. Instead of growing up segregated, inclusivity would make them better citizens of NI tomorrow.
Zed urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Northern Ireland First Minister, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, Presbyterian Church in Ireland Clerk Trevor D. Gribben, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh John McDowell make concerted efforts to put an end to segregation of NI schools.
According to an estimate, about 93% of children attended segregated schools in NI.