A series of Joint Programmes between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to strengthen democratic stability in different countries or regions have been set up. Some of them have a “history” element. This is the case for the North Caucasus where seminars were organised in Dombay, Nalchik, Elista and, in each of these places, the participants showed great interest in the work.
The seminars were organised on “History teaching in secondary schools: teacher training and history textbooks”, on “How history teaching can strengthen reconciliation, mutual understanding and tolerance in present-day society” and “Interpretation of historical facts when teaching history in secondary schools”.
These seminars have brought together ministry officials and specialists in history education (ministers, deputy ministers, university professors, teacher trainers and history teachers) from all the republics and regions of the North Caucasus including an important input from the Republic of Chechnya.
Programme of Cooperation Activities between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic
The workshops organised in Kislovodsk in 2002 brought together history teachers, not only from almost all parts of this Republic, but also from the refugee camps which were located at the time in Ingushetia.
Seminars and workshops for Chechen teachers launched in the framework of the joint programme were continued in 2005-2006, this time within the Programme of Cooperation Activities between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic (Pyatigorsk June 2005, Moscow November 2006).
In addition, at the Stocktaking Conference in St. Petersburg in March 2003, the delegation from Chechnya expressed their wish to be involved in future activities of the Council of Europe on history education organised in Russia. Following this request, delegations of Chechen history educators participated in all seminars and conferences organised in different regions of the Russian Federation. This gave an opportunity for Chechen history teachers to be provided with information on new methods in teaching history such as multiperspectivity, and to exchange their views with colleagues coming from different parts of the Russian Federation as well as with European educators. When activities were organised in areas where the Chechen Diaspora is living, meetings with its representatives, as well as visits to Chechen schools, were organised for participants.