Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Global Citizenship Education and Peace – My reflections

For a culture of peace to be firmly established in our world, there is absolute need for all inhabitants of Mother Earth to cultivate a sense of belonging and allegiance to the wider world.

As long as we see ourselves as citizens as citizens of individual countries, there is the tendency to promote and be ready to defend national interests up to the level of being ready to enter into or initiate violent conflicts with other countries when there are conflicts of interests/ideologies, or beliefs.

As the concept of Positive peace being the presence of social justice, and the absence of structural violence characterized by harmonious social relations and the integration of human society, will only become a reality if all inhabitants of the Earth are able to imbibe and adopt a globalized perspective to all issues starting from the local to the global.

Global citizenship education is important to world peace because it is only by seeing ourselves as having a responsibility to protecting the world as a whole, and understanding that the actions and events in one part of the world have direct consequences on other parts of the world, that we can truly feel committed to uphold the ideals of global citizenship and working on the basis these ideals.

Though we all originate from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, proper integration and acceptance of Global Citizenship education will make our learners cultivate an inclination to imbibe the concepts of a global culture of peace as outlined in the United Nations’ Assembly Declaration of 1999.

International peace and security will be more an inclusive international collaborative effort for the whole world instead of the present WE vs. THEM situation we have in the world.

The various ideals encompassed in the Culture of Peace Models are universal in nature and all societies, cultures and faiths certainly have a reason for adopting and implementing them. If today’s learners are guided to see themselves as global citizens, they will certainly be less disposed to taking up arms in the name of protecting parochial national interests. They’d be more prepared to use non-violent conflict resolution methods to sort out whatever differences that may crop up among countries as they grow. They’d have the realization that there is only one interest to protect, the global interest!

If learners are well guided to acquire skills, knowledge, and attitude/values that make up the core ideas of Global Citizenship Education, it is expected that they’d grow up with the capacity to feel allegiance to the wider World as their “country” instead of holding on to the narrow, exclusive idea of national citizenship.

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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi (mallamibro@gmail.com) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.