Socialist Worker

Get the army out of our schools

Issue No. 2094

Teachers at the NUT union conference highlighted the issue of army involvement in education by voting on Tuesday to oppose army recruitment in schools.

In addition to military visits to schools, the ministry of defence (MoD) wants to send “defence schools presentation teams” into classrooms to sell the benefits of “humanitarian intervention”.

The government has commissioned a marketing company specialising in targeting children to draw up lesson plans that laud the war and occupation.

Under the scheme the lessons will sell the lie that the “invasion was necessary to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam, an oppressive dictator, from power, and to bring democracy to Iraq”.

No mention is made of the fact that over one million Iraqis are believed to have perished in the war and occupation, or that the one third of Iraqi children cannot go to school.

Instead school students will be told that, “From hospitals to schools to waste water treatment plants, the presence of coalition troops is aiding the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq.”

Steve Sinnott, the NUT general secretary, said, “When you are dealing with something as controversial as Iraq and the different events that led up to the invasion, teachers are under a duty to present material that is balanced. The MoD material does not live up to that high standard.”

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Tue 25 Mar 2008, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2094
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