Category Archives: EDUCATION FOR PEACE

India: Peace Channel promotes peace education in schools of Kohima


An article from Morung Express

Peace Channel conducted peace celebration and capacity building programmes in five schools of Kohima district – Little Flower Hr. Sec School, Kohima, Sacred Heart School, Khuzama, St. Paul School, Phesama, Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Kohima, and St. Andrews School, Jotsoma village – on the theme ‘Concept of peace and peace building’ in the months of March and April.

Participants of the programme organised by Peace Channel at Little Flower Hr. Sec School, Kohima.

Addressing the Peace Club members in the respective schools, Susan Kulnu, Peace Channel Kohima district coordinator emphasised on the main objective of peace and peace building

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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She motivated the students to understand the concept of peace, to think of peace, love peace and make peace so as to take up initiatives in one’s own home and locality, to transform a culture of violence into a culture of peace, stated a press release from Peace Channel.
Susan further spoke about human rights, which she said, are the vital assets for everyone. “These rights are interrelated, interdependent and indivisible,” she asserted. The speaker also emphasized on the principle of “Do No Harm” which is a holistic perspective that is focussed on mutual benefits and not win-lose situation. The students were also motivated on leadership and life skills.
Sedekieno Rino, a peace activist, also spoke on anti-war toys “as children are also seen to be manipulated into replicating the violent content they see on television, videos, video games or violent cartoons,” the release stated. She urged the students to dream of a peaceful society and put efforts of changing oneself towards promoting peace so that one day that dream will turn to a reality.
Altogether, 227 quality Peace Club members along with 10 teacher animators of different schools participated in the sessions, informed the release.
The participants have been encouraged to take initiatives in bringing peace wherever they are and “they are now to bring peoples together, striving for peace, justice, equality and fraternity.”
It was informed that Peace Channel is also undertaking similar programmes in other districts like Dimapur, Wokha, Mon, and Peren.

Domincan Republic: Integrating art subjects in centers helps create a culture of peace


An article from Hoy digital (translation by CPNN)

The anthropologist Tahira Vargas considers expelling students from educational centers because of bad conduct does not solve the problem, but it aggravates it, For this reason she suggests to work with these students through theater, dance and music, in order to build a culture of peace.

“To break the cycle of violence you should not answer with more violence. Instead you need to change the relationships within the centers, creating other types of spaces, where you can dialogue with students and establish responsibilities and tasks that promote a change of behavior,” she said.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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She explained that the teachers and directors of the centers do not understand the context of vulnerability that violent students experience, such as the case when their parents have to go out to work and cannot be at home to help educate their children.

Vargas spoke about the issue when asked about the statements of directors and teachers of high schools in Salcedo, who have alerted the Ministry of Education about the constant misconduct of many students.

Vargas points out that the streets and schools are the main space for the socialization of young people, so schools should be a space for building a culture of peace, not a space for the reproduction of violence, and for exclusion which is a form of violence.

“What I suggest is that teachers, principals and counselors work with students to change the internal relations of the center, and they are responsible for their behavior.” They should understand that it is important to integrate art, which is a strategy used in many countries to transform violent behavior into a culture of peace.

The Gambia: PAG hold peace advocacy camp


An article by Cherno Omar Bobb from The Point

Peace Ambassadors – The Gambia, a youth-led peace advocacy organisation with funding from ChildFund- The Gambia recently held a master camp for recruitment of peace educators and advocates under the theme: Promoting the culture of peace and non-violence in School and communities. The event was held at Banjulinding Lower Basic School.

Photo from PAG facebook

The Master Camp was designed to induct members of PAG on national youth leadership training, recruitment of peace educators and advocates as well as ambassadors peer-peace motivation coordinators training.

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Question for this article:

How do we promote a human rights, peace based education?

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The organisation’s vice president Ida Jatta said since its inception in May 2001, they have been advocating for peace in the minds of young people. “We focus on peace advocacy, community outreach and grassroots engagement to fulfill our thematic obligation as an organisation. We see peace as a continuous process and the leadership training will enable members to serve as role models in communities,” she said.

ChildFund- The Gambia communication specialist Famara Fofana said the international child aid agency have been championing the cause of young people, promoting child welfare and helping vulnerable young people to become productive adults. “Many people we supported are today manning important positions in the country. As peace ambassadors, let us propagate peace messages in the minds of young people.”

Alieu Marr, child protection and advocacy officer of ChildFund also said young people are the productive assets of the society, saying they will continue to support the activities of Peace Ambassadors. “We must have peace of mind in ourselves to promote peace in communities and schools.”

Peace Ambassadors Executive Secretary Yankuba Manjang said they have a role to play as young people to advocate peace in the nation, adding that the master camp will introduce the participants on leadership skills, peace and conflict management.

Book review: World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21stCentury


By Richard Falk, reprinted by

This is a brief promotional comment to call attention to the publication of a truly outstanding contribution to creative and restorative world order thinking. The book is entitled A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21stCenturyby Jo Leinen and Andreas Bummel, translated from German by Ray Cunningham, and published in 2018 in Berlin under the imprint of Democracy Without Borders. The book is currently available for purchase from Amazon.

I hope at a later time to do a serious review of this urgent plea for what might be called ‘cosmopolitan rationalism,’ the undergirding of a populist movement dedicated to overcoming the menace of the war system and predatory capitalism, placing a great emphasis on the potential of institutional innovation beyond the level of the state, above all, through the establishment of a world parliament with legislative authority. This would be a revolutionary step in the governance of humanity, and if it happens, is likely to be preceded in the evolutionary agenda of the authors by a global assembly endowed with recommendatory powers but lacking a mandate to make and implement binding decisions, and hence incapable of resolving conflicts or solving challenges of global scope.

The authors are both dedicated advocates of the institutionalization of governmental authority of regional and global scope. Leinen has been a leading member of the European Parliament since 1999 as well as a German government official. Bummel is an internationally known and respected champion of world federalism incorporating democratic values. He is co-founder and director of the NGO, Democracy Without Borders.

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Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

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What makes this book a great gift to humanity at a time of global emergency, is what I would call its ‘informed global humanism’ that sheds light on the long and distinguished history of proposals for global parliamentary authority.  The institutional focus is greatly expanded and deepened by an erudite consideration of why global problems, as varied as food, water, environment, climate change, and economic justice cannot be solved without the presence and help of a world parliament capable of generating enforceable law. The authors bring to bear an astonishing range of knowledge to support their conclusions, drawing on the accumulated wisdom of philosophers, scientists, social scientists, moral authority figures, and statesmen to illuminate the question of how to meet the formidable challenges of the age. This enlargement of concerns lends weight to their commitment to clear the path of obstacles currently blocking the formation of a world parliament.
Indeed, while building their central case for a world parliament, Leinen and Bummel, have authored a book that tells you all you need to know to understand with some depth what is wrong with the world as it now functions, how it can best be fixed, and by whom. Their central political faith is rooted in an espousal of democratic values that they project as a positive global trend. Only here do I have some reservations, reflecting my reactions to the militarization of democracy in the United States and to the strong trends favoring autocracy in most leading countries. I do share with the authors a skepticism about the capacity of existing elites to promote the necessary reforms, as well as their sense that the time of a transnational revolution of the industrial proletariat has passed, with hopes now resting in the eruption of a transnational democratic and cosmopolitan democratic movement promoting progressive and humane forms of global governance.
I strongly recommend this book as a source of wisdom, thought, and the fashioning of a positive vision of the human future. Pasted below is the table of contents of A World Parliament to give a more concrete picture of the scope and grandeur of this extraordinary scholarly contribution with manifold activist implications for those of us who consider themselves citizen pilgrims.

Memphis’ MLK50 commemoration marks ‘time for a political revolution’


An article by Kevin McKenzie for High Ground News (reprinted as non-commercial use)

As thousands of union members and supporters prepared to march in Memphis on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s slaying while supporting the city’s sanitation workers, the point of the outpouring became clear.

Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union still representing those workers today, tied the past to the present.

“Fifty years ago those brave 1,300 sanitation workers, the faith-based community, our community partners, walked together hand-in-hand, singing together, praying together, walking and demanding justice and dignity for those sanitation workers,” Saunders told the marchers. “We will do the same today, sisters and brothers. That same coalition, coming together, fighting the good fight. Are you ready?” he asked.

Teddy McNeal (center) raises his fist during Common’s performance outside the AFSCME Hall. McNeal traveled from Kinston, NC with his Machinists union. (Andrea Morales/MLK50)

Fusing together broad coalitions and movements to harness the power of voting, nonviolent civil disobedience and union organizing were a clear message repeated during three days of conferences, speeches and workshops culminating with Wednesday’s march.

Martin Luther King III echoed those themes during a closing rally in a South Memphis field adjacent to Mason Temple, where King spoke the night before he was slain at the Lorraine Motel, now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

“We’ve got to find ways to register people like never before,” King said. “And we’ve got to vote in November like never before. Black Lives Matter, Me Too movement and finally the student high school movement to address guns in this country, we should be excited about that,” King said.

Before the march started from AFSCME Local 1733 headquarters, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said called King a nonviolent revolutionary. Honoring his legacy means following his footsteps and transforming the country.

“Dr. King was many, many things,” Sanders said. “What he was mostly about was understanding that we are all of a common humanity — black and white and Latino and Asian American and Native American. We have common dreams and today we tell the president of the United States and anyone else, you are not going to divide us up.”

AFSCME and the Memphis-based Church of God In Christ, headquartered at Mason Temple, partnered to support an I Am 2018 conference and the march.

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Question related to this article:
What’s the message to us today from Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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Rev. William Barber, co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, which rekindles King’s Poor People’s Campaign by harnessing civil disobedience to target government policies, shuttled between appearances, including the rally, to urge fusion and action.

“You dishonor the movement and dishonor the prophet if you just remember the prophet without having a revival of the movement the prophet stood for,” Barber told the marchers. “I’ve come today to tell you this is not time for a party, it is time for a political revolution.”

AFSCME and other public-sector unions also are preparing for what they fear may be a damaging U.S. Supreme Court case to be decided in coming months, Janus vs. AFSCME, that could cripple their ability to collect fees in some states.

The unions, as well as Democratic candidates they tend to support, would suffer the blow.

Entertainers including Common and Sheila E, who also delivered a speech at the closing rally, performed for the marchers.

CNN cable news political commentator Van Jones introduced speakers at the closing rally. Jones said his father was born in Memphis, went to Melrose High School, and was in Memphis the day King was slain.

“My father said that was the worst day of his life and the worst day in the life of Memphis. I wish he were here today to see the beauty, to see the strength to see the resilience, to see the power,” he said.

Another CNN political commentator, Angela Rye, also spoke, continuing a war of words with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

“Tell him that my facts are straight and here are the facts, Mayor Strickland, because I asked you if this was a Memphis that you are proud of, if you and the way that you are dealing with your workers in 2018, which is far too similar to the way that Mayor Loeb dealt with workers in 1968,” Rye said.

The city paid Rye to be keynote speaker Feb. 24 at an MLK50 event. Rye, who had met with Memphis activists beforehand, spoke critically of issues ranging from progress to policing in Memphis with Strickland sitting nearby.

The mayor told The Commercial Appeal that he didn’t know who Rye was, that she was wrong and out of touch at times, but that it was good to be challenged. He later followed up with a more detailed rebuttal.

Rev. Al Sharpton was among speakers who pointed to the continuing issue of police shootings of unarmed black men, as well as poverty and income inequality.

“We’re shot too much, incarcerated too long, that’s why we march,” Sharpton said.

Tilman Hardy, 41, is with Step Up Louisiana, which pushed for a statewide economic platform that was shot down by a House committee in the state legislature on party lines, with nine white Republicans voting no and three black Democrats voting yes, he said.

“That still shows that our nation is divided and all of these years later it seems like we still haven’t moved the needle as much as we could have. So days like today mean a great deal to America and New Orleans,” said Hardy, helping to hold a banner as he marched.

‘Back to Learning’ education campaign to benefit half a million children in South Sudan


An article from Africa News

The fourth phase of the ‘Back to Learning’ initiative launched Tuesday by the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, at Freedom Square in Kapoeta in the presence of more than 2,000 children and their parents, representatives of UNICEF, the Education Donor Group, Save the Children, Girls Education South Sudan, and members of the National Education Forum and Civil Society.

Photo from Children of South Sudan

The Back to Learning 2018 initiative will target the most under-represented communities throughout South Sudan, providing learning opportunities for children currently not attending school, either due to conflict, cultural barriers or obstacles such as distance or family finances. Building on the success of the first two years of the initiative, which provided more than 680,000 children with access to education, the next phase of Back to Learning will put an emphasis on children in conflict affected states, girls and other vulnerable children.

This year’s theme ‘Inclusive and Equitable Access to Quality Education for Peace and Sustainable Development’ aims to highlight the crucial role of education in fostering peace. Education has the potential to build the capacities of children, parents, teachers and community members to prevent, reduce and cope with conflict and to promote equality and peace. Education can also help address the inequalities that generate conflict. Inequalities can fuel conflict, just as conflict can worsen inequalities.

“Education transforms lives, creates the preconditions for peace and promotes sustainable development,” said Mr. Deng Deng Hoc Yai, Minister of General Education and Instruction. “The Government is committed to providing equitable access to quality education to all children for achieving the national goal of peace and sustainable development. I want to urge all parents and guardians to take all their children to school. I, once again, direct all public schools to admit all children free of charge in accordance with the law.”

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Question related to this article:

What can we do for the people of Sudan?

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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National and state-level Back to Learning committees are already in place coordinating activities for this school year, including social mobilization activities across the country to kick start the yearlong campaign. We encourage as many citizens as possible to get involved in this initiative.

“Ensuring children are able to access quality education not only provides them with a brighter future, it also benefits their community and South Sudan as a whole,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “There is no greater investment for a country to make.”

UNICEF continues to work with partners to set up temporary learning spaces and provide supplies and psychosocial support to protect children from the worst consequences of the conflict whilst continuing with their education.
In 2018, the Back to Learning initiative aims to:

• Provide 500,000 children and adolescents with access to age-appropriate learning opportunities; which will include 300,000 children retained from 2017 and 200,000 children currently out of school.

• Establish 405 learning spaces providing a safe and protective learning environment;

• Train 4,000 teachers, including 1,750 Early Childhood Development caregivers on pedagogy and teaching methods, psychosocial support and conflict-sensitive education;

• Train 1,200 Parent Teacher Association and School Management Committee members on social mobilization, conflict sensitive education, basic school management and school development.

To provide access to learning opportunities for the more than half a million vulnerable children and adolescents aged 3 to 18, UNICEF and partners require US$47.5 million.

The funds will be used to provide learning facilities and education materials to newly enrolled children in schools; to continue education services to children in conflict-affected areas; and to enrol new students out of school for other reasons.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

(Thank you to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for calling this article to our attention.)

Adyan Foundation in Lebanon to Get 35th Niwano Peace Prize


A press release from the PR News Wire

The Niwano Peace Foundation will award the 35th Niwano Peace Prize to the Adyan Foundation in Lebanon in recognition of its continued service to global peace-building, notably its development of a program for children and educators offering guidance to peace and reconciliation for those affected by the Syrian war.

caption:Photo from Asia News

An award presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo on May 9 at 10:30 a.m. In addition to an award certificate, the foundation will receive a medal and a cash prize of 20 million yen.

In 2013, Adyan responded to the Syrian crisis by offering interfaith mediation dialogue and peace education to vulnerable Syrian citizens both in Lebanon and Syria. In 2016, Adyan started intensive work in Iraq to build the capacities of journalists and civil society activists in spreading the values of inclusive citizenship and inter-religious solidarity, and healing the society from its ISIS traumatism. 

In selecting Adyan as a recipient for 2018, the Niwano Peace Prize Committee said the foundation has been “a visible and committed actor for peace” in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East region, focusing on both high-level and grassroots engagement, “demonstrating the inclusive and interfaith values/principles the Niwano Award seeks to recognize.”

Niwano Peace Prize: 

The Niwano Peace Foundation established the Niwano Peace Prize to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace, and to make their achievements known as widely as possible. The foundation hopes in this way both to enhance inter-religious understanding and cooperation and to encourage the emergence of still more persons devoted to working for world peace. The prize is named in honor of the founder and first president of the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Nikkyo Niwano.

Philippines: MPI 2018 Annual Peacebuilding Training: Creating a Culture of Peace


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

For over 18 years now, Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) has successfully conducted its Annual Peacebuilding Training. This three-week intensive peacebuilding training has continued to bring together a wide range of people with experience, knowledge and skills in peace-related work to share and learn in a safe environment where all viewpoints are encouraged and respected.

Starting with the first training in 2000, MPI has trained over 2,000 peacebuilders coming from more than 40 countries around the globe, in areas such as conflict transformation, conflict analysis, peace education, religious peacebuilding, and trauma healing. These courses are taught by a distinguished roster of facilitators from Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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MPI will again endeavor to create a space where peacebuilders meet in mind, heart, and spirit to keep abreast of the challenges that the issues of peace and justice present, during the MPI 2018 Annual Peacebuilding Training from May 7 to May 25, 2018, at Mergrande Ocean Resort, Davao City, Philippines.

With this, we are pleased to inform you that we are now officially accepting applications for the 19th Annual Peacebuilding Training! For MPI 2018, we are offering one new course – Digital Peacebuilding and New Media in Week 2.

We will have an Early-Bird Discount of 7% that will be applied to those who submit their applications on or before March 1, 2018. The deadline for the receipt of regular applications is on April 1, 2018.

For more information on the courses, trainers, application and fees; please click this link.

Peace is not just a two-period a week subject – Prajnya Teachers for Peace Training (India)


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

CHENNAI: In the wake of alarming incidents that have threatened the holistic peace in the country and across the world, Prajnya, a Chennai-based NGO has flagged a two-day workshop — ‘Prajnya Teachers for Peace Training’. “In 2005, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) came up with a National Curriculum Framework (NCF) which says that peace education is a ‘concern cutting across the curriculum and is the concern of all teachers’,” says Swarna Rajagopalan, MD, Prajnya Trust.

Training during a January 2016 peace training session (Photo: The New Indian Express)

Accordingly, schools and teachers are required to integrate peace education across the curriculum and extracurricular activities. “No matter what the teacher has taught, the value of peace education — be it acceptance, inclusivity and sensitivity should be integrated into curricula everywhere. For instance, if you have a math problem, instead of Raja and Jhony, it can be Raja and Lilly. So, inclusivity in everything — modeling and language, gender inclusivity and communal inclusivity are to be a part of the curriculum,” she shares.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The idea is not just to teach peace as a ‘two-period a week’ subject. It’s to include the values in everything a teacher shares. But sadly, this practice hasn’t taken off. “It has been hard to implement it in schools. With a minimum classroom strength of 35 and a maximum of 70, multiple divisions and exam pressure, the focus has not fallen on peace education,” elucidates Swarna.

With these short training workshops, Prajnya is trying to give teachers a broad idea of how peace education can be integrated. The two-day training will introduce participants to peace education and the NCF recommendations, facilitate an introspective exploration of what teachers bring into classroom, their communication practices, and values for an inclusive classroom and society; provide the opportunity to identify and design class plans with peace education principles and include a practice and peer mentoring component. “We will have Priyadarshini Rajagopalan, a peace educator-come-teacher and Chintan Girish Modi, another renowned peace activist to facilitate the workshop,” she says.

While the workshop is being conducted in Chennai, it’s not confined to the city. “If anyone from Sriperumbudur, Pondicherry or Kanchipuram want to enroll for the workshop, they are welcome as well. We are looking for teachers from different spectra to join us. Even if one person from a school joins us, it goes back to the school in some way,” she shares.

The workshop will take place once in three months and will be scheduled after assessing  the optimal time for the participants. “As adults, we are losing perspective on how we perceive the world and about asking the right questions.

So, what are we teaching our children? This has to be addressed,” she adds.
(Reposted from: The New Indian Express.  December 30, 2017, by Roshne Balasubramanian)

Going the Distance for Peace: South Sudanese Educators and Policy Makers Focus on Youth by Training Secondary-School Teachers


An article from Relief Web

The majority of the population in South Sudan is under thirty years of age. However, ongoing conflict, high unemployment and lack of consistent access to education risks leaving the generation of youth without the skills to politically, economically, and socially grow the world’s newest nation. Peace and the stability it provides are paramount in South Sudan.

As one way of developing peace-builders and peaceful societies in South Sudan, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) with the UNESCO Juba Office and UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), hosted a Training of Trainers (ToTs) on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace-Building. From 23-26 January 2018, 24 MoGEI staff and trainers of secondary-school teachers from selected Institutions such as Rombur Teacher Training Institution, Juba Teachers Training Center, Yei TTC, Loka National Secondary School, Malakal Elshabia Secondary School, just to mention a few, participated in the workshop. This ToT is a key element of UNESCO-IICBA’s Teacher Training for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries project, supported by the Government of Japan.

The overall goal of the project is to train 6,000 secondary-school teachers in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda and Eritrea through a Training of Trainers (ToTs) model. By training teachers, the project invests in youth, offering them skills that will help them to become peace-loving and economically and socially productive citizens.

Those trained in Juba, South Sudan will go on to train pre and in-service secondary school teachers to meet the country’s goal of training 1,000 secondary-school teachers.
At the opening ceremony, His Excellency Seiji OKADA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to South Sudan; Abdullahi Ali, Acting Undersecretary of Ministry of General Education and Instruction; Umar Alam, Head of Office of UNESCO Juba office and Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) provided welcoming remarks. Mr. Umar Alam stated that UNESCO is advocating for giving utmost priority to the peace education initiative in South Sudan, and thanked the Government of Japan and MoGEI for their support. Dr. Yokozeki shared that IICBA is keen to know the needs of the teachers in the continent and believes that teachers carry the key to quality education.

Since 2016, with the support of Japan, IICBA has been working on peace and resilience building, one of the most important issues in South Sudan and the world. IICBA has also spearheaded Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) through education in Africa with two multi-country PVE training workshops in Addis Ababa and Dakar in 2017. Ambassador Okada spoke about the important role of teachers in peaceful societies. His Excellency noted that Japan development was a result of investing in people and education. The Honourable Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi, Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, officially opened the workshop by strongly emphasizing the role of gender in peace education access.

During the weeklong workshop, participants were engaged in dynamic activities designed for teaching peace-building through Transformative Pedagogy. This unique method relies on active participation and deep reflection. It encourages youth to become social entrepreneurs and design community projects to reduce root causes of conflict. Sarah Charles Hakim, a tutor at Rombur National Teacher Training Institute shared that she ‘benefited greatly from the workshop and is eager to implement it in her institution.’

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Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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Another participant, Angelo Gume felt that ‘peace-building education is needed in South Sudan to teach youth the skills of critical thinking, active listening, mediation and negotiation so that they can be peace-builders. There is a long way to go, but together teachers, youth, families and communities can create a peaceful society.’ In fact, South Sudanese educators have already gone the distance to learn for other countries experiences in implementing peace education.

As a key activity of the project, from 2-9 August 2017, Ms. Doru Joyce Ladu, a secondary school teacher in Juba joined Mr. Babu Emmanuel Ezibon, Senior Inspector in the Planning Department and Mr. Victor Dut Chol, Director for Research and Policy Documentation both from MoGEI, were part of the 18 policy makers, teacher trainers, and secondary school teachers from the six participating countries who travelled to Japan for training in Tokyo and Hiroshima.

The study tour participants also had the honour to be invited to the Peace Ceremony on 6 August 2017 in Hiroshima. The Japan study tour bridged cultures, histories, and educational experiences between the six African countries and Japan and provided opportunities to share experiences on teaching and peace-building among educators and policy makers.

At the closing ceremony for the workshop, Mr. Takanobu, who represented the Ambassador of Japan in South Sudan, was pleased to hear about the project’s study tour to Japan. He stated that the trainers were like ‘seeds who will generate peace-builders who will also go on to develop additional peace-builders.’ The Honorable Deng Deng Hoc Hai, the Minister of General Education and Instruction, officially closed the workshop by sharing that the new South Sudan National Curriculum had the four objectives of developing good citizens, life-long learners, and creative problem solvers, who were also environmentally responsible persons.

The ministry has a new mandate to have peace-clubs at every school beginning in February 2018. The Honourable minister shared that ‘the right to education is as important as the right to life; education impacts the quality of one’s life and it is the foundation for reaching all the other 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).’ He indicated that the teacher trainers had a great deal of work ahead of them but that they were now well-prepared for the task. The honourable minister thanked the Government of Japan for supporting this training and project.

South Sudan has also been instrumental in other project activities, including the development of teacher guides and participating in the training of trainers from 4-8 September 2017. In March 2018, educators, MoGEI, NGOs, youth and UNESCO will also hold a policy dialogue to discuss how to make the project sustainable.

This UNESCO-IICBA initiative comes at a crucial time as conflicts, disorder, and natural disasters are severely impeding global and regional efforts to improve access to quality education while exacerbating violence and radicalizing youth.

With 42% of its population of 12.2 million under the age of 15, lessons learned from this trip have the potential for great impact of future South Sudanese generations.

Project goals and activities are aligned with Goal 4 and Goal 16 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the AU’s Agenda 2063. To quote Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of UNESCO-IICBA, “More young people are enrolled in school in Africa. Therefore, a teacher’s role must be emphasized in promoting peaceful cultures amongst the youth.”

(Thank you to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for calliing this article to our attention.)