Dominican 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.