Great Lakes summit clears peace education in schools (Uganda)

Children attend a lesson via a radio set in Ntungamo District in June last year. Stakeholders say government should introduce peace education in schools so that development and humanity have a firm base. (Photo: Daily Monitor/File)

“This is the first initiative to have peace education included in the national curriculum.  The target is to include peace education as a subject.”

By Franklin Draku

(Reposted from: Daily Monitor.  September 9, 2021)

The International Conference on Great Lakes Region has asked the Ministry of Education and the National Curriculum Development Centre to incorporate peace education into the national curriculum.

Officials from the regional body explained that the country can only produce responsible and peace-loving citizens if peace education is extended to learners right from early childhood.

They further say the current piecemeal approach does not suffice.

While opening a three-day training for peace educators in Kampala yesterday,  Ms Margaret Kebisi, the head of the regional peace and security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the delegates that they must inculcate a culture of peace and security among young people so that development and humanity have a firm base.

“Without peace and security in the region, all other things such as development and other projects cannot take off because peace is the backbone of development,” she said.

She said the country is going through rough times because not much attention has been paid to championing peace and security among citizens at a tender age.

“This is the first initiative to have peace education included in the national curriculum.  The target is to include peace education as a subject,” she said.

Mr Duncan Mugume, the national peace education expert, said for the last 10 months since the peace education project was launched, focus has been on bringing all stakeholders together. This, he added, was done to ensure there is a national pool of experts to draw from.

Teachers from primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions are among those being tooled up to take the mantle of peace education.

“We already have about 20 peace actors and other stakeholders who we have brought together, but still we are adding more to create a forum where we begin to talk about peace education and right now, we are doing training so that we can talk from one perspective and move in one direction,” he said.

Mr Mugume said different studies have shown that the biggest challenge for Uganda is the absence of peace education in the national curriculum.

He consequently challenged the Education ministry and the National Curriculum Development Centre to speed up the process of peace education syllabus.

“Right now, when you look at our children, many of them don’t know how to respond to conflicts. Many do not know how to negotiate their ways out and that is why we think it is important that they are introduced to peace education…” he concluded.

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