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The West African Network for Peacebuilding publishes its guide for culture of peace and non-violence in the schools:
an article by Amadou Diop, Le Soleil, Senegal (abridged)

A national consultation on the theme "Education for peace and non- violence in schools" opened yesterday in Dakar. Organized by the Senegalese section of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (Wanep), the activity is motivated by the observation that there is very little consideration of education for peace and non- violence programs and strategies in the education sector.

click on photo to enlarge

A guide for peace education for Wanep was launched yesterday at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. This is part of a national consultation focused on promoting the culture of peace and non-violence in schools. The idea is to "develop a peaceful school environment at all levels." This guide is based on experience in seven countries in West Africa as well as the experiences of Wanep. Hence it will be considered the reference document for education for peace and non-violence.

According to Bijoue Birch, one of the panelists, the challenge is to develop a strategy for implementing peace education and evaluating its role in psycho- social behavior.

Of concern to the panel are the manifestations and consequences of conflict and violence in Senegalese schools, youth and education programs for non-violence and peace in West Africa and the role of school directors in the creation of a culture of peace in schools.

The actors intend to contribute to the development of educational strategies for the analysis of practices of peace education and assessment of the relevance of educational guides for the implementation of education for peace and non- violence. According to Gaspard Onokoko, a member of Wanep, the challenge is to "facilitate the exchange about various experiments on the causes of conflict and to build capacity in promoting a culture of coexistence." "We also want to propose a plan of action for the training of trainers ," he added.

For the coordinator of Wanep in Senegal , Alfred Gomis, "the motivations are research, construction and consolidation of peace at all levels ." In his opinion , we must "act to contribute to the development and the advent of a peaceful school environment at all levels ."

The representative of the Minister of National Education, Inspector Dibor Bakhoum , welcomed the consultation which "will be in line with recommendations of the ECOWAS Reference Manual on peace education." He said such a move "will help inform the decision-making for a quality education through a diagnosis ."

Concerning conflicts in schools, Gaspard Onokoko argued that our schools have become fertile soils for social inequality and violence. "We must build a society based on differences that are enriching: forgiveness, tolerance and a culture of peace and human rights." . .

(Click here for a French version of this article)


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 February 22, 2014.