New York, May 28 – Officials of New York City have announced that public schools would teach Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) heritage starting from this fall, with a focus on reducing injustice against the minority group.
The city will have a pilot curriculum for all grade levels at first and introduce it to the whole school system by the fall of 2024, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It’s my pleasure to announce our new Hidden Voices: Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the US, a curriculum that honours all that our AAPI students and families contribute daily to our school communities and city. We want each child to be heard and seen for who they are,” David C. Banks, Chancellor of NYC Department of Education, said.
This new curriculum will cover stories from numerous AAPI figures and a multitude of communities who have left their mark on this country, said Banks.
The city would also work on professional development for teachers to integrate the new curriculum into their broader school lessons as well as new resources and books.
Banks added one of the ways to combat racism and hate is by teaching and learning about each other’s stories and histories.
“We are a better city, a better people, when we know the history of our fellow New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who called the development “historical”.
New York lawmakers are pushing to introduce similar curriculum across the state.
“Asian Americans have been scapegoats for a lot of things in our entire history, whether it be economic recession, international warfare, global pandemic – we get blamed,” said New York State Senator John Liu.
“And the reason we get blamed, and therefore hated and attacked, is because of ignorance.”
New York City has over 1 million AAPI residents, and 16.5 per cent of its 1.09 million public school students identify themselves as Asian, statistics show.