London: British Prime Minister David Cameron today endorsed a drive to teach "British values" in the country`s schools amid an ongoing crisis of extremism within the education system.
A UK government investigation, launched after an anonymous letter reported a campaign dubbed "Operation Trojan Horse" to infiltrate some schools in Birmingham with Islamist extremist values, showed yesterday that a culture of "fear and intimidation" did exist in some schools.
"I would say freedom, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, belief in personal and social responsibility and respect for British institutions - those are the sorts of things that I would hope would be inculcated into the curriculum in any school in Britain whether it was a private school, state school, faith-based school, free school, academy or anything else," said Cameron, on the side-lines of a mini-summit with EU leaders in Sweden.
He was reacting to UK education secretary Michael Gove`s statement in the House of Commons in which he said, "We already require independent schools, academies and free schools to respect British values. Now we will consult on strengthening this standard further, so that all schools actively promote British values."
Gove announced the proposals as he responded to damning reports by schools inspectorate `Office for Standards in Education, Children`s Services and Skills (Ofsted) that there had been a co-ordinated attempt to turn some Birmingham secular schools into narrow faith schools.