Monday, May 23, 2011

Potential impact of Peace education on my society - My Reflections

 To fully achieve the desired benefits, Peace education should be introduced in a multi-faceted manner by directing it to both schools and the wider community.

The possible success of a Peace education programme would be greatly hampered if the whole community is not considered. Here in my society, we already have a deep rooted culture of mistrust and mutual suspicion among the diverse ethnic and religious groups. If Peace education is introduced into solely into the school curriculum, the current societal realities would make it very hard for the desired lessons of Peace education to have the desired positive effect on the students and school community alone.

With the above in mind, it would be necessary to build a Peace education programme that will incorporate the other non-curricular efforts, especially those of governmental and non-governmental agencies that  are actively working on different peace-building and cooperative projects.

Thus, in formulating a Peace education programme, all stakeholders in the community need to be actively committed to a concerted series of efforts not only to create an academic curriculum, but also a comprehensive mass orientation programme that will address every sector of the society. Such a programme like i envisage, will require the committed active participation of Traditional rulers, Religious leaders, Mass media, Educators, Teacher trainers, Non-formal youth organizations, occupational unions, corporate bodies and most importantly, elected government officials and other political actors.

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." - Aristotle

Children learn best from what they actually do and see being practiced and they will readily absorb the principles of peaceful coexistence if they see the whole community working and living by the precepts of this ideal.

When a child grows up seeing unity and cooperation in action within the community which s/he being an active participant, s/he will find it very easy to accept and adapt to the academic truths Peace education teaches him/her at school.

A multi faceted Peace education programme will lead to more cooperative communal activities between the diverse groups. Muslim groups joining hands with Christian groups to organize and implement communal development projects and visible cooperative efforts on peaceful conflict resolution among the groups.

Practicing teachers will also have to be part of this programme with a lot of retraining and refresher activities organized to keep them in tune with the objective of using education as a vehicle for promoting peace. Teacher training programmes also have to be remodeled to make student-teachers acquire the prerequisite skills and readiness for contributing to the Peace education efforts.

With such an environment in place, integrating Peace education into the curriculum or building the curriculum on the concept of Peace education will certainly bring about a new spirit of unity, cooperation and understanding among the students. This will ensure they will grow with the love of peace, unity and cooperation; they will actually grow up looking at conflict as something ‘alien” and dishonorable.

If children grow up in a community that preaches and practices peaceful coexistence and unity on the local level, it will be much easier to get them to love, respect and accept all peoples of thew world as they grow no matter who they are, where they are from or what their religious inclinations are.

“Children learn more from what they practice and see us practicing than from what we teach through words”

On a personal level, my classes would basically remain the same in terms of the Group system, i’d only ensure I give more consideration to the diverse interests and ethnic/religious differences of the students when dividing the class into groups.

I will have to remodel some of my practical leaning materials to be based on themes that are related to peace. Even the language of sample training materials maybe be modified to contain messages about peaceful coexistence, such will actually promote discourse and questions on the contents of lesson materials. instead of being used to train students in acquiring Computer skills, they’d now be vehicles of passing peace ideas and messages across. My lesson plans will also be prepared with the aim of using them to promote peace education.

Other stand-alone activities could also be arranged to foster the spirit of friendship, cooperation and undersyanding among the students.

Presently, we have an internal discussion method for reolving conflicts between students. When there is a misunderstanding between members of the same group, they usually elect a Mediator (Mostly the Group leader) to mediate. If this does’


  1. Dear Ibrahim,

    Peace education has to start somewhere and it seems that in the classroom is a good place. That may mean just your classroom in the beginning with the hope that your example will encourage other teachers to follow.

    It seems you have a diverse group of students in your classes. What a great place to start with "planting seeds." Hopefully, what students learn in your classroom about tolerance and understanding of others differences will go outside the classroom. It is a beginning, I think.

    Best regards,

  2. My immediate community is a multi-cultural society and it is a very fertile place for planting the seeds of tolerance and understanding among the youths.
    In fact, it has been wonderful seeing great friendships grow out of groups created during the computer training sessions.
    I have seen many youths from diverse backgrounds become great pals even after the course.
    Integrating Peace education into my learning activities will surely offer more opportunities for better understanding


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