Desde hace más de 50 años, maestros y rectores colombianos construyen paz en las aulas, en las escuelas y en las comunidades. Como reconocimiento a su labor, a partir de 2018, se otorgará el Premio Compartir ‘Educación para la PAZ’, un galardón dirigido a aquellos líderes que desde su trabajo formativo contribuyen a generar ambientes democráticos y a la construcción de proyectos de vida de niños y jóvenes.
Continuous Support from European Universities to Peace Education in Colombia: A report from the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck (Austria)
As the peace initiatives in Colombia continue to flourish during the challenging phase of the implementation of the peace agreements between the government and the FARC-EP, several universities from Europe are visiting the country, learning from and lending support to local approaches to peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
A range of recent programmes have attempted to make Colombia more globally competitive in higher education. Amongst these programs are new international summer schools that bring together about 300 Colombian academics and students with international experts, including Nobel prizewinners, to address one of the three key “pillars” – equity, education and peace – flagged up in the president’s National Development Plan.
The coming of peace is naturally welcomed, but universities seem cautious in their optimism about what it is likely to mean for them. Universidad del Norte’s Roa expects “great economic investments for the post-conflict transition” but sees no evidence that increased funds will be directed towards higher education.
In Factis Pax invites papers for submission on a Special Issue on Peace Building in Post-Conflict Contexts inspired by the ground-breaking developments in Colombia to end the fifty years’ war, and the civil society efforts in peace education and peace building toward transforming society and culture.
A special event for youth participation was held at the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Colombia on February 2, 2017. The workshop, “Gymkana of Young People for the Consolidation of Peace,” was organized by Fundación Escuelas de Paz and the International Peace Bureau.
For more than five decades, the armed conflict in Colombia has prevented the country’s youth from building a future. Now, they might soon be given a seat in the classroom. In Colombia’s rural areas, the armed conflict has prevented children and youth from attending school, according to a new report by the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
“Getting these children back to school will be key to secure peace and stabilisation in Colombia,” said NRC’s country director in Colombia, Christian Visnes.
This manifesto, issued by ‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ of Colombia outlines a collective commitment to, and vision for, peace education through clearly articulated values and principles for peace education and peace pedagogy.
‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ (The Peace Education Collective) constitutes an effort of several universities, research centers and non-governmental organizations at the national and international order committed to the design, management and implementation of plans, programs and projects of national and international practices aimed at reducing social exclusion and violence impact, as well as strengthen a culture of peace, peaceful coexistence and recognition of differences.
Amada Benavides de Perez is President of Fundación Escuelas de Paz, a peace education NGO in Colombia. She attended the September 26 signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. She and colleagues have been working tirelessly developing and training networks of formal and non-formal networks for decades, contributing to the foundational peacebuilding work making the possibility of the agreement possible. In the coming months, Fundacion Escuelas de Paz will be coordinating peace education efforts in territories formerly controlled by the FARC.
In this message, Amada offers her reflections on a turbulent week that began with hope, only to collide with confusion and exasperation. We stand in solidarity with Amada, the peace educators and the citizens of Colombia for their continued courage in pursuit of peace through education.
José Manuel Restrepo-Abondano, who heads Del Rosario University, argues that universities still have a major role to play in trying to cement peace in Colombia even after the failed referendum. Academic research on education and peace offers a number of key insights.