MEANING AND THE NEED FOR PEACE
The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines peace as a situation or a period of time in which there is no war, argument or violence in a country or an area.
Therefore, peace education is the process of acquiring the values, the knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills and behaviour to live in harmony with one self, with others and with the natural environment.
There are numerous United Nations Declaration on the importance of peace education.
Bank Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General, has dedicated the international Day of Peace 2013 to peace education and in an effort to refocus minds and financing on the preeminence of peace education as the means to bring about, a culture of peace.
Koichiro Matsuura, the immediate past Director – General of UNESCO has written of peace education as being of “fundamental importance to the mission of UNESCO and the United Nations. Peace education as a right is something which is now increasingly emphasized by peace researchers.
Since the early decades of the 20th century “peace education programs” around the world have represented a spectrum of:
- International understanding.
- Environmental responsibility.
- Communication skills.
- Conflict resolution techniques.
- Human rights awareness.
- Tolerance of diversity.
- Co-existence and gender equality among others.
MECHANISM FOR PROMOTING PEACE James Page Suggests Peace education be thought of:
- Encouraging a commitment: to peace as a settled disposition and enhancing the confidence of the individual as an agent of peace.
- Consequences of war: Informing the student on the consequences of war, inequality and social injustice.
- Value of peace: Informing the student on the value and just social structures.
- Love the world: Encouraging the student to love the world and to imagine a peaceful future
- Care for others: Encouraging the students to care for others.
A review of field-based projects reveals that three variations of peace education are most common:
- Conflict resolution training.
- Democracy education and
- Human right education.
The most significant of these new approaches focuses on peace education as a process of world view transformation.
Peace education programs centred on conflict resolution typically focus on:
- The social behavioural symptoms: The social behavioural symptoms; The social behavioural symptoms of conflict involve training individual to resolve inter-personal disputes through techniques of negotiation and peer mediation.
- Management of anger: Learning to manage anger and improve communication through skills such as listening, turn-taking and identifying needs.
- Taking of responsibility: Participants are also encourage to take responsibility for their actions
- Brainstorming: The need to brainstorm together on compromise (an agreement between two people or groups in which each side gives up some of the things they want so that both sides are at peace and happy at the end).
Peace education programs centred on democracy education typically focus on the political processes associated with conflict and postulate that with
- An increase in democratic participation: The likehood of societies resolving conflict through violence and war decreases.
- Tolerance: That a democratic society needs the commitment of citizens who accept the inevitability of conflict as well as the necessity for tolerance.
Human Rights Education
Peace education programs centred on raising awareness of human right typically focus at the level of the policies that humanity ought to adopt in order to move closer to a peaceful global community.
The aim is to engender a commitment among participants to a vision of structural peace in which all individual members of the human race can exercise their personal freedom and be legally protected from violence, oppression and indignity.