Remove nationalist indoctrination from school syllabi

State schools teach the basics of political/ethnic prejudice in the process of teaching history. National pride is not something that can be TAUGHT. It’s something you grow into by yourself. When you try to TEACH national pride, what you end up teaching is prejudice.

National history of every country should explicitly start with the following: We’re NOT the greatest nation on Earth. We’re NOT the most righteous people on Earth. We’re not the most clever. We may be ahead in some areas, behind in others, but we’re just another group of people just like everybody else.

Avoid things like: Glorification of past, bloody battles: History books meant for young children depict Dutugemunu as a hero in the Elara-Dutugemunu war. The same treatment is given to a number of other less-than-righteous kings.

If memory serves me, a Grade nine school history book mentioned with barely concealed glee, two notable defeats of Portuguese/British at the hands of Sinhalese militia. It specifically mentions how a certain lake/marsh turned red with the blood of the foreign soldiers: hardly an educational fact.

Many other interactions with foreign races have been recorded in our school history books in neutral sounding language, but with a definite Sri Lankan slant. The school books have been partially sanitized of most of the wrongdoings committed by Sri Lankans.

As Bertrand Russell says, if every country taught their own imperfections and non-superiority to their young, they will be less likely to approve state aggression against other ethnicities or groups. But such a public is a disadvantage to a power-seeking regime.

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4 Responses to Remove nationalist indoctrination from school syllabi

  1. bzt says:

    But the filthy politicans need political/ethnic prejudice to keep the population dim and easy to control. History is the best way to do this.

    If people start thinking as Sri Lankans and not as members of a ethnic group they might start expecting our elected thugs to do complicated things like good governance, economic management, strategic thinking (or thinking for that matter) etc.

    Then there goes the pajaros, the kick backs from arms deals and the general skimming.

    Hate is control. And it has to be taught. When they are young.

  2. David Blacker says:

    Glorification of the past is there in all school education, not just in SL I think.

  3. Deane says:

    Except the history books tend to have an ethnic bias..

  4. R says:

    Depicting Dutugemunu as a hero is one of the best examples to show our history writers were biased. (I’m sure the tamil history is corrupted too, but I’ll tell you what I know of the ridiculous Sinhala history)

    When Dutugemunu challenged Elara to a dual, Elara was in his eighties, while Dutugemunu was in his twenties or thirties. Being a considerate king Elara took up the challenge, only to be killed by Dutugemunu.

    Elara was renowned as a king that adhered to justice. Once in trial he sentenced his own son to death for running over a cow. He had many other qualities that even Dutugemunu couldn’t refuse, and thus Dutugemunu gave a respectable funeral for Elara afterwards.

    Dutugemunu comes from Dutu [evil]- gemunu, the name that his father gave to him because of his rigorous wrong doings.

    Dutugemunu did a lot of good things afterwards, but to recognize him as a national hero; i definitely think we have to reconsider…. A lot of other things in Mahawanshaya, when read rationally, makes no sense either.

    (To all those who are wondering, yes I’m Sinhala, and I went to a so-called Sinhala Buddhist school)

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