The Commonwealth Foundation, in partnership with the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), held a seminar titled 'Faith, Culture and Education' on 21 January 2009 at Marlborough House in London.
The Seminar was attended by members of the House of Lords, representatives of the Commonwealth High Commissions and other Embassies in London, participants from the education sector, faith-based organisations and other civil society organisations, as well as members of the media.
The Seminar was convened to discuss faith-based education in the context of promoting broad and inclusive worldviews.
Civil Paths to Peace, the report of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, expressed concern that faith-based schools encouraged young people "to see the world in fragmented terms". Both the Commonwealth Foundation and AKU-ISMC have an interest in ensuring that faith and education are instead directed towards social cohesion.
Mr Farid Panjwani (AKU-ISMC) spoke as part of the panel: Having faith in our schools? The role of faith in education and education about religion in schools.
The Seminar aimed to draw out themes for further exploration in the run up to the 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (17CCEM), to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2009.
The Seminar was introduced and chaired by Dr Mark Collins, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation and Dr Abdou Filali-Ansary, Director of the AKU-ISMC. Speakers included: Mr Farid Panjwani, Senior Instructor, AKU-ISMC; Dr Jyotsna Jha, Gender and Education Advisor, Commonwealth Secretariat; Dr Rosemary Preston, Council for Education in the Commonwealth; The Reverend Janina Ainsworth, Chief Education Officer, Church of England; Ms Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, freelance journalist. Concluding remarks were shared by Mr Arif Jamal, Senior Instructor at AKU-ISMC.
This article was originally published on the Commonwealth Foundation website. Accessed 3 March 2009.
Seminar on Faith, Culture and Education (Commonwealth Foundation website)
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Coordinator, Planning & Academic Development
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations