Friday, May 20, 2011

Peace education in my society - Thinking out aloud (Just my Musings)

While it is a worthwhile endeavour to promote peace coexistence among Nigerian peoples of diverse ethnic/religious backgrounds, a nagging question remains; how do you preach peaceful coexistence in a society that doesn't have well defined structures for  ensuring equity and fair-play? a society in which children grow up being taught to regard people from other tribes or religious inclinations are oppressors or enemies?

In a society where the different groups see themselves as being "marginalized" by the other groups, how do you build a culture of sustainable trust and sincere love for one another?

Though, we all agree that meaningful and sustainable development can never be achieved without peace, we also need to look at the effects of corruption (both institutional and moral), human rights abuses and discriminations on the psyche of the society.

When teaching students to have a sense to justice and compassion in their relations with others, how do you explain the various injustices and perceived oppression they live through?

Questions, Questions, and more Questions are what we are daily faced with in our task of educating our youths to grow up to become functional, effective and peace loving members of the society. Instead of getting answers, these questions only breed more questions!!!

But in the words of Samuel Johnson, "Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome"


  1. Hi Ibrahim,
    Indeed, more questions and more questions - and I think this is a good thing! There is a quote from Einstein in which he says something like "when I have a problem, I spend 95% of the time trying to find the right question, and 5% of the time answering the question." I think this highlights the need to ask the right questions first.

    I do think that peace education has answers for all of these questions. If "children grow up being taught to regard people from other tribes or religious inclinations are oppressors or enemies," then it is definitely the job of peace education to teach them otherwise.

    The essence of nonviolence is to free our hearts from hatred. If we hold hatred in our hearts and do not act violently, this is NOT nonviolence. nonviolence is when we can absolve ourselves from hatred and seek to understand people who we do not necessarily agree with.

    With respect to making sense of the injustices in the world, I think this is exactly the job of peace education - to understand the ROOT causes of the injustice and suffering, and to come up with SOLUTIONS, then implement plans of ACTION. If we only learn about the world, but do not learn that we can change it, we can become frustrated. Thus action is an important part of peace education.

  2. This is one of what makes this programme unique in its focus and goals. It is not only about acquiring a body of knowledge for certification purposes alone, it is actually a practical effort to effect positive transformation of our present reality from a culture of war to one of peace. By starting with the self and moving on to the larger society especially the students (the adults of tomorrow), we can truly contribute to making tomorrow’s world a more peaceful one.
    An anonymous quotation I once read states “No society can rise above the quality of its teachers”
    A close reflection on this statement will certainly show us that the only way to really effect any meaningful change in a society is through its educators.
    Apart from their parents, the next closest people to these kids are we, the teachers. If we cultivate a positive ideal and promote it, there is high likelihood that the students will grow up to imbibe these ideals.


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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.