Antwerp schools receive coloured pencil sets with six different skin colours

The city of Antwerp has distributed 20,000 sets of coloured pencils featuring six different skin colours to students in the first and second grades at 200 schools. Ahead of International Day against Racism and Discrimination on 21 March, the campaign aims to bring diversity awareness into classrooms, VRT reports.

Karim Bachar of Flemish socialists Vooruit, councillor responsible for equal opportunities, visited the Franciscus School in Borgerhout, where second-year pupils were drawing self-portraits with the pencils.

"Many children spontaneously think of the pink pencil when thinking about skin colour because this is often the only option," says Bachar. "With these six skin colour pencils, every child can be completely themselves, even on paper."

Teachers and management of the Franciscus School hope the gesture will make a difference in pupils' confidence and communication.

"Everyone should be able to recognise themselves, and this makes that possible," said director Annelies Henderieckx. "There must also be different skin colours in the paint in nursery classes, just like in picture books and dolls in the classroom."

The teachers also received tips and lesson material to encourage discussions about diversity.


#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO SIPA USA

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