Peace Education in Pakistan

(*Reports prepared by graduate students of the American University’s International Peace and Conflict Studies Program.  Please see November 2010 issue of the Global Campaign for Peace Education newsletter for more information: www.peace-ed-campaign.org/newsletter)

Peace Education in Pakistan by Barbara Wien

 

Trainings on Peace & Conflict Management

Since 2003, Peace Education and Development (PEAD) has an ongoing program for sensitization & training of teachers on “peace and conflict management”. These trainings are aimed at enabling the participants to understand the dynamics of conflict and empower them with skills to deal with conflicts in their daily lives. The trained teachers in turn train their respective students on the concept of peace and skills of conflict handling. A teachers’ training manual titled “First Step Towards Peace” is specifically prepared to be used in the classrooms as extra-curricular material. These capacity building trainings were initially carried out in collaboration with the District Government, Rawalpindi (Punjab) for several hundred public school teachers during 2004-2005.   In collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, Germany, similar capacity building workshops were organized in all four provinces. Schoolteachers, students, civil-society representatives, government officials, religious groups and media attended these workshops during 2003-2007.

Publications:

  • PEAD has recently published a three part training manual “Peace & Conflict Resolution”. The series includes a conceptual manual, a teacher’s activity guide and a student’s manual. The manuals are currently being used in 36 public high/higher secondary schools in NWFP.
  • PEAD has published a teachers’ manual “First Step Towards Peace” in Urdu. Over 200 Master Trainers were trained on the manuals and it was introduced in several hundred schools as co-curricular resource book. The manual was also translated in Dari (Afghan Persian) and was widely distributed in schools in the years 2005-2006.
  • PEAD has published a series of modules on “Civic Education”. The modules are currently being used for training students in civic rights and responsibilities in 22 public institutions in NWFP.
  • PEAD has published a series of booklets on ‘Environmental Awareness and Education”. The booklets were widely distributed in government schools in NWFP as co-curricular material.

Peace Education in NWFP:

In partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), PEAD is working on a project “Peace Education in NWFP” in 36 selected public schools in districts Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar, NWFP.

The project aims at providing the target group (students and teachers) an alternative view of individual as well as collective responsibilities by way of directly engaging them in the program activities. The project’s modus operandi directly interacts with the target groups at various levels, i.e., personal, as a group, as a family member and as a social actor.

In particular, the interactive training sessions are designed to trigger critical thinking process in the students & teachers. The trainings are expected to empower target groups with better communication skills, acceptance of differing views, provide them with conflict handling/management abilities, prevent use of violence in solving conflicts & educate people on the dividends of peaceful co-existence.

The direct beneficiaries become multipliers and carry the message forward to other target audiences i.e., whole school, families, communities and the media. To share the experience and increase the impact of the work, PEAD plans to establish very close working relationships with the government’s education department, NGOs working in the field of peace building and the media.  The programme is implemented in partnership with the provincial education department.

Open Minds Pakistan:

Open Minds Pakistan is a project run in partnership with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), UK. The project provides training in journalism to young people aged 10-19 years in selected schools & madrasas in two districts of NWFP-Peshawar and Charsadda.

The project also provides opportunity to the selected students to discuss, debate and publish reports on current affairs. The project is designed to attract young people away from violence and views that support violence, by giving them:

  • knowledge about political and social issues provided in an objective format to enable them to form their own opinions free from prejudice.
  • analytical and discussion skills to help them develop confidence in saying what they think.
  • some power to have their views heard by publishing their reports in nationwide newspapers, reducing feelings that violence is the only way to make a difference to their lives and communities.
  • a chance to compare their views with a wide range of other young people from different schools in Pakistan, and with Muslim youth from other countries.

Project: Creating Awareness of Rights & Responsibilities in Youth (CARRY):

PEAD, in partnership with Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany is working on a 3 year programme “Creating Awareness of Rights & Responsibilities in Youth (CARRY) in 22 Public High Schools (boys & girls) in districts Peshawar, Mardan & Nowshera of the NWFP.  The program is aimed to inform, inspire and involve youth for active citizenship and social mobilization.  8 training modules on Peace and Civic Education are specifically designed for teachers. Based on the training modules, students capacity building workshops are held by trained teachers and PEAD Civic Education team for students every month. Students are provided action plans for carrying the messages forward to their school fellows, families and communities.  The program is being implemented in collaboration with the Department of Schools & Literacy, NWFP, Peshawar.

Life Skills Based Education (LSBE):

In partnership with the World Population Fund (WPF), Pakistan, PEAD has launched a LSBE program in district Nowshera, NWFP since September, 2009.The program is intended to enhance the social, mental, physical and emotional well being of school going adolescents in Pakistan whilst at the same time building their skills to deal with the difficulties of life during adolescence.

Trainings are based on specifically designed manuals on LSBE. The LSBE program is implemented in 20 public schools (boys & girls).

Past Projects:

Theatre for Peace: PEAD’s educational theatre “Religion of Peace” has performed in over 30 cities of NWFP, Punjab and Azad Kashmir during 2007 &  2008.  The theatre was based on human rights issues and in particular the rights of the “vulnerable groups” in Pakistani society i.e. women, children and minorities.

The interactive theatre performances were held in public middle & high schools The play was also aired by a private cable network in Azad Kashmir and was very well received.  Over 50,000 participants (school students, teachers, and community members and media representatives) attended these theatre performances.

Environmental Awareness & Education Programme: In partnership with Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany the Environmental Awareness and Education Programme was run in 40 public high/higher secondary schools in districts Peshawar, Nowshera & Charsada of the NWFP during 2007 & 2008

Selected students from each school were trained in knowledge and skills to promote environmental conservation and preservation as a collective responsibility. Information booklets on various environmental themes were prepared and distributed among the students. The students were also provided action plans for larger dissemination.

Organizational Structure:

    • Mrs. Sameena Imtiaz, Executive Director.
    • Mr. Sajjad Hussain, Programme Manager, Islamabad.
    • Mr. Fawad Haider, Programme Coordinator, Islamabad.
    • Ms. Sana Jalil, Programme Coordinator, Peshawar.
    • Mr. Arbab Musawir, Programme Coordinator, Peshawar.
    • Mr. Faisal, Programme Coordinator, Nowshera.
    • Mr. Shoaib, Field Coordinator, Nowshera.
    • Mr. Tahir Shah, Field Coordinator, Charsadda.
    • Ms. Shakeela Kamal, Field Coordinator, Charsadda.
    • Ms. Saman Sajjad, Assistant Coordinator, Peshawar.
    • Mr. Imran Afzal, Accounts Officer
    • Mr. Imran Latif, IT Officer.

Sameena Imtiaz is the Executive Director, Peace Education And Development (PEAD) Foundation. She holds a Masters Degree from the University of Peshawar. She has done a certificate course on “Transforming Civil Conflicts” from The Network University, Amsterdam and The Centre for Conflict Resolution, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. Ms. Sameena has also done a certificate course on “Human Rights and Citizenship Education “from Institute of Educational Development (IED), Agha Khan University, Karachi in collaboration with the Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation (CIIAN). She is a trainer on values education, peace and conflict management, gender and other human rights issues. She has trained several thousand government and civil-society representatives and thousands of students across Pakistan. Ms. Sameena has prepared and published a teacher’s resource unit titled First Step Towards Peace. The manual is also available in Dari and is being used in Afghanistan. She has also written a three part teachers training manual on “Values Education”. Also to her credit are several booklets on various aspects of environmental challenges

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