15.12.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Education is a powerful tool for peace: Kenya holds Training of Trainers on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace-Building

Group of participants Training of Trainers (ToTs) on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace-Building took place at Machakos University / @IICBA

The Kenya In-Country Training of Trainers (ToTs) on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace-Building took place at Machakos University, Nairobi, from 4 to8 December 2017. This is a key activity of the UNESCO-IICBA Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries project, Supported by the Government of Japan

The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Education Kenya organized a Training of Trainers (ToTs), from 4 to 8 December 2017, on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace- Building. The ToTs were organized in collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and UNESCO-IICBA. Thirty lecturers, NGO, secondary school teachers and Ministry of Education of Kenya staff attended the training representing Lugari, Kagumo and Kibabii Teacher Training Colleges, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenyatta and Mount Kenya University.

The objective of the workshop was to outline the relevance of the project in Kenya, train trainers of pre-service and in-service secondary school teachers on transformative pedagogy, discuss ethics and its contribution to peace-building, share assessment tools for transformative pedagogy for peace-building and plan next steps for cascading at regional and institutional levels.

Throughout the five days, participants were actively engaged in many games and activities that led to debates and discussion around causes of conflict (such as poverty and inequality), peace-building skills (such as active listening) and assessment (such as evaluating social entrepreneurship team projects based on objectives set by learners).

Many participants noted the uniqueness of the workshop and were thrilled that its ‘method was experiential’ and its message was ‘very motivating and empowering.’ One of the most interesting debates occurred at the start of the workshop during the session Understanding Conflict. What exactly is conflict and is it always bad? The consensus that emerged was that conflict was a part of life and not always bad, at times leading to innovation and growth; however, violence should always be avoided and managed through dialogue, active listening, mediation and negotiation.

The inspiring words of Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa were shared at the opening ceremony: As echoed in the constitution of UNESCO; since wars begin in the minds of men [and women], it is in the minds of men [and women] that the defences of peace must be constructed.” And hence, in a globalized world where interconnections and diversity must serve as opportunities to build peace in the minds of men and women we endeavour to support member states in their strategies and initiatives for peace education and peace building.

Moreover, Dr. Evangeline Njoka, General Secretary of Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, in a relayed speech, noted that 'education serves as a powerful tool for peace.' UNESCO-IICBA was represented by Dr. Martha K. Ferede and Ms. Eyerusualem Azmeraw. Mr. Darius Mogaka, Ministry of Education of Kenya's Director of Policy and Partnerships and East African Community Affairs, officially opened the workshop. The facilitators included Mr. Charles Mwaniki (Director of Basic Education, Ministry of Education of Kenya) Ms. Mary Kangethe (Deputy Director, Global Priorities, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO), Ms. Jacqueline Njeru (Human Rights Lawyer, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO ), Mr. George Thuku (Child Protection Officer, I Choose Life- Africa).

This project aims to contribute to the provision of economically productive and peace-loving young people through quality teacher training and development of 6000-8000 pre and in-service secondary-school teachers in the six countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. The UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa has been instrumental in implementing project activities in these countries. By focusing on building the capacity of secondary-school teachers for sustainable peace and development in the target countries, the project is investing in youth, offering them alternatives to the pull of intolerance and violent extremism. It offers them tools to be builders of peace by consciously constructing a positive world for their generation and the generations to come. These objectives are in line with the 2030 SDGs Goal 4 on quality education and 16 on peaceful societies and aligned with the AU’s Agenda 2063 on promoting increased regional integration, peace and stability, and equitable economic development.

Impact is already taking shape. Based on the strength of the workshop at Machakos, the NGO I Choose Life Africa has decided to support Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and Ministry of Education of Kenya scale up the training to an additional 1000 teachers in the counties of Laikipia, Meru and Mombasa. This will double the number of educators that the Kenya team plans on training.


<- Back to: UNESCO Office in Nairobi
Back to top