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Gambia: PS Bouy Launches WANEP Peace Education Implementation Guide
an article by Alieu Ceesay, Daily Observer, The Gambia (abridged)

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Babucarr Bouy on behalf of his minister, on Wednesday [October 30] launched the Implementation Guideline for Peace Education in formal schools in The Gambia by the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) at TANGO conference hall. Peace education is one of the numerous ways WANEP-Gambia seeks to ensure the livelihood in the Gambia is maintained through a culture of peace. The peace education programmes are centred on conflict resolution typically on the symptoms of conflict; training individuals particularly the young on the need to resolve inter-personal disputes through techniques of mediation and negotiation.

Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Babucarr Bouy

click on photo to enlarge

The programme was launched in August 2000 as a pilot programme in seven West African countries and within the past years, the programme has gone through various phases beginning with the development of training materials on peace building. In his official launching statement, PS Bouy said the launching of the guide could not have come at a better time; as over the last two decades, many countries in the sub-region are affected by major wars and violent conflicts and are now grappling with its aftermath. "These include physical and psychological impacts which generally affect children and young people. This had led to an increase in vulnerable youths. Thus in most countries parents are especially compelled to use meager resources to meet their children's numerous needs; such as enforcing discipline, rehabilitation and welfare support," he remarked.

The permanent secretary explained that peace education being a pedagogical approach, aimed at promoting a culture of peace and preventing the incidence of conflict is also seen to help in the prevention of turmoil. T he PS also noted that it is a process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behavioral change that will enable all stakeholders prevent conflict and violence. He went on to note that Peace Education is critical for addressing the alarming challenges of providing welfare support, to control discipline and rehabilitate juveniles. While it is undoubtedly accepted that education is a platform that can help change negative cultures into cultures of peace, PS Bouy said, peace education will educate teachers and citizenry with the knowledge, values, skills and capacities conducive to the social transformation of repressive cultures, addresses forms of violence such as racism and raises awareness and take action in the schools to liberate the schools and subsequent cultures from oppressive systems. To realize this aspiration, Bouy indicated, the Peace Education Programme herein will purposely educate for peaceful values, cultural solidarity, personal and community empowerment and creative minds, in order to foster students to be responsible citizens, open to other cultures, respectful of diversity and committed to non-violence". . .


Question(s) related to this article:

Peace Studies in School Curricula, What would it take to make it happen around the world?

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Latest reader comment:

During the Asian Educators Symposium, we found out that Peace Education is still not part of the school curriculum in most countries. However, the participating teachers have been incorporating peace education in their teaching subjects, such as English, social studies, and character education. We all agreed that love and the will to nurture peace in children are the most important basis for peace education. Even if peace education is not a part of the curriculum, peace can be taught through any subject. Whatever you are teaching, if it comes from the heart, then it will touch the minds of children.

This report was posted on January 1, 2014.