News & Highlights

Education and Culture Minister positive on teacher visits across the divide (Cyprus)

Education and Culture Minister Costas Kadis said that initiatives such as the visits of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers to schools in both communities of Cyprus are very positive. Kadis also said he met recently with the members of the Technical Committee for Education and they exchanged views on how to promote a culture of peace, respect for diversity and different opinions as well as mutual respect between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

UN and Colombia launch post-conflict fund: peace education a priority

The fund will focus in particular on supporting conflict-affected areas in the lead up to and aftermath of possible peace agreements between the government and the country’s largest rebel group following almost 52 years of armed conflict. The fund will support initiatives to improve access to justice, local government capacity, the management of social conflicts and the promotion of education for peace, focusing on the most conflict-affected areas.

Segregation Forever?

This article from Teaching Tolerance magazine observes that the history of slavery—which ended in the United States over 150 years ago—is still shaping contemporary patterns of school segregation through its influence on our social institutions and our reliance on historical precedent and local tradition. The history itself happened long ago, but its legacy is a contemporary phenomenon because our social realities today are informed by what happened yesterday—including our less flattering moments. So, although people today are not individually responsible for slavery, we are very much responsible for how we respond to that history. As academic researchers, we use this understanding to guide the questions we ask and attempt to answer. It is what led us to investigate whether counties with stronger attachments to slavery have a higher level of school segregation today. We found out the answer is yes, but not for the reasons you might think.

Palestinian Peace Teacher Announced One of Top Ten in the World

Hanan Al-Hroub, a primary class teacher who grew up in Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem, has been shortlisted to the top 10 international teachers nominated for the one million dollar 2016 Global Teacher Prize, organised by the Varkey Foundation. The inspirational teacher was regularly exposed to acts of violence. She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatized by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school. With so many troubled children in the region, Palestinian classrooms can be tense environments. Hanan embraces the slogan ‘No to Violence’ and uses a specialist approach she developed herself, detailed in her book, ‘We Play and Learn’.

Elizabethtown College to offer master’s degree in peace education

Elizabethtown College will offer its first stand-alone graduate degree program – the master’s program in curriculum & instruction in peace education.
The master’s degree will be “very much an extension of what we already do at the undergraduate level,” Rachel Finley-Bowman, chairwoman of the Education Department, said. It is aimed at practicing classroom teachers and will be offered entirely online. The college is looking at an initial cohort of 12 to 15 people, Finley-Bowman said. They will learn techniques for mediation and resolution of conflicts in the classroom, as well as the underlying theory, Finley-Bowman said.

How to Counter Recruitment and De-Militarize Schools

U.S. military recruiters are teaching in public school classrooms, making presentations at school career days, coordinating with JROTC units in high schools and middle schools and generally pursuing what they call “total market penetration” and “school ownership.” But counter-recruiters all over the United States are making their own presentations in schools, distributing their own information, picketing recruiting stations, and working through courts and legislatures to reduce military access to students and to prevent military testing or the sharing of test results with the military without students’ permission. This struggle for hearts and minds has had major successes and could spread if more follow the counter-recruiters’ example.

What if Schools Taught Kindness?

Laura Pinger & Lisa Flook ask the question: why teach kindness to kids? The school environment can be very stressful; in addition to any issues they bring from home, many students struggle to make friends and perform well in class. Being excluded, ignored, or teased is very painful for a young child, and we thought it could be impactful to teach empathy and compassion. When other kids are suffering can we understand how they might be feeling? Kindness bridges those gaps and helps build a sense of connection among the students, the teachers, and even the parents. Learning to strengthen their attention and regulate their emotions are foundational skills that could benefit kids in school and throughout their whole lives.

Republic of Korea to Host UN DPI/NGO Conference 30 May—1 June: Focus on Education in Pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Department of Public Information is pleased to announce that the Republic of Korea has confirmed its desire to host the sixty-sixth Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference in Gyeongju from 30 May to 1 June 2016. Organized in cooperation with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the NGO community, the Government of the Republic of Korea and the National Organizing Committee of Korea, the Conference will be held under the theme “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together”. It will be the first time for the DPI/NGO Conference to be held in Asia.

Why Is My Kindergartner Being Groomed for the Military at School?

This article by Sarah Grey, published on Truthout, argues that military recruitment efforts, whether societal or sponsored directly by the US military, reach children as young as preschool, priming them to think of war and soldiering as cool and exciting, without any discussion of the trauma and death they bring.

Promoting tolerance: Education dept has four weeks to add human rights to curriculum (Pakistan)

KARACHI: The Sindh education ministry was given one month to include human rights as a subject in the secondary school curriculum, in compliance with the order passed by the Sindh High Court (SHC) in a bid to promote peace in society. The directives came in a public-interest litigation seeking directives for the federal and provincial authorities to teach human rights at schools. The petition was filed by Advocate Zubair Ali Khaskheli in 2012. His lawyer, Rafiq Ahmed Kalwar, said the government should make efforts to bring about harmony in society, which is the need of the time. For this purpose human rights education should be made part of the school syllabus, as has been done in Nepal, he had proposed in the petition.

Peace Exchange Community of Practice

USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, in collaboration with DME for Peace, recently launched PEACE EXCHANGE. Peace Exchange is an open, online platform hosted on DME for Peace where anyone with a commitment to conflict sensitivity can share their experiences and resources on conflict sensitive practices, tools and literature. The community will help practitioners and organizations improve integration of conflict sensitive and peacebuilding approaches into development and humanitarian assistance trainings and programs.

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