A good idea, I think.
Two sixth-formers from every school in England are to visit Auschwitz to learn about the Holocaust, under a government-funded initiative to help to ensure that the lessons of the Nazi genocide live on with a new generation.
Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, wants the teenagers who take part to educate their classmates and communities in turn by giving them their own accounts of the death camp in Poland where more than one million Jews, Roma, Sinti, gay, disabled and black people were put to death.
The Government will fund the greater majority of the cost of each student’s trip. While their school must find £100, the Education Department will find the remaining £200 per trip over the next three years….
Critics have suggested that the visits might act as a smokescreen to disguise present-day atrocities. But Mr Knight is determined that this will not happen. “We want them to see it, not as an isolated period of history, but as something real and something that can happen again and again if we let it, like it has happened since then in the Balkans, in Cambodia and in Rwanda,” he said.
This is why today he will confirm that the scheme, which has been piloted since 2006, will now be on a permanent footing receiving £1.5 million of government funding a year until 2011, with a promise of further funding in the future…