Peace is a state of mind and body that is learned from an early age. And with the current state of politics, of civil wars that are breaking out everywhere, it is more than important to educate citizens to peace from an early age. Prem Rawat's "Peace is Possible" statement is still relevant, but still requires maximum involvement from all sectors.
And if Prem Rawat himself works to reach world leaders, the school also has its role in raising awareness and educating young people about peace.
Importance of education for sustainable peace work
Nowadays, conflicts are the source of all troubles in the world such as poverty, lack of education and all sorts of social problems. Whether internal conflict or between two nations, all social areas are affected by the conflict. Education is one of the only dressings that will both prevent and cure. Because through education the fundamental values of peace are transmitted.
In addition, education is accessible to all and open to all. Children and adults alike have the right to have access to equitable education for their development. With education as a tool for peace, therefore, everyone will be treated equally and will be able to seek both their well-being and the well-being of the society in which they live.
In addition, target 4.7 of the SDGs is to ensure that all students master the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the promotion of sustainable development worldwide. The pupil will thus be a fully fledged player in the development of his society and his country, through the knowledge he has acquired in terms of human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a society in peace, the fight against all types of violence.
Education: a double-edged sword
For education, however, to have the positive impact that we seek about peace, it is essential for it to be equitable, accessible to all and particularly more relevant to the local context. Indeed, education is only beneficial for peace when it transmits universal values which allow a good establishment of peace. Values like sharing, empathy or dialogue, for example.
On the other hand, if education conveys values such as war, exclusions or inequality or even selfishness, from school, peace can never be established. In any school, to promote this culture of peace it is essential that each student be accepted for what he has, understood by his comrades as by the teaching staff and that he can express himself without fear, correct without reprimand and free to continue his studies according to his choices.
What type of education to meet this challenge?
The main role of the school for peace would therefore be to educate in negotiations for conflict resolution and learn from an early age to renounce violence in order to solve problems. This must absolutely be done with respect for the child and above all in line with their environment and the local context.
A civic education course in primary education in Europe cannot therefore be used for a civic education course in Africa. Because by adapting the lessons according to the students, it is easier for them to assimilate but above all to put it into practice with their families on a daily basis.