WINDHOEK, 29 OCT – President Hage Geingob on Tuesday said hate speech not only fuels extremist views, but posed a great danger to efforts of promoting multilateralism, cooperation and seeking peaceful solutions to conflict. Speaking at the Global Ministerial Conference on the Role of Education in Addressing and Building Resilience Against Hate Speech, Geingob said that Namibia had embarked on a path of national reconciliation at independence as a result of efforts to thwart the results of hate speech, given its history of suffering under Apartheid.
“We believe that it is in unity that our strength lies and it is in pursuing policies of inclusion that we will build robust processes, systems and institutions that will imbue trust, confidence and cooperation in our efforts of building peaceful, prosperous and inclusive societies. Hate has no place in society. It distracts from inherent human capacity to show compassion and uplift the human spirit.”
Geingob reiterated that education and acculturation is critical to shaping the life skills and attitudes that develop later in life.
“Schools and educational institutions are important microcosms for wider society,” said Geingob, adding that “Beyond playing a directive role in framing critical thinking skills, schools also play a supportive role in modernizing attitudes… I have always used the analogy that nation building is like building a house. You begin by laying a foundation on which you construct your house, one brick at a time. You conclude by applying plaster and paint, until the individual bricks are no longer visible and all that is left is a strong and sturdy house.”
The Ministerial Conference was geared at achieving fruitful discussions on how to build supportive learning communities which entrench learners to appreciate diversity. – firstname.lastname@example.org