28.06.2012 - Education Sector

After conflict, peace-building through education

Photo from Global Monitoring Report 2011©Lana Slezic/Panos

Immediately after conflict, education can save and sustain lives, restore routine and give people hope for the future. UNESCO actively promotes education as part of emergency response and for long-term recovery, particularly in the delicate transition process from violence to peace and nonviolence.

Following a disastrous civil war in Liberia, UNESCO is supporting reconciliation through curriculum reform to implement Peace, Human Rights and Citizenship Education (PEHCED) in the Liberian school system. Over 1300 teachers have been trained and PEHCED widely adopted as a school subject.

In South Sudan, UNESCO is currently helping to develop teaching and learning materials on Life Skills and Psychosocial Support. The Flip Book is a simple visual tool which comes with a Teacher Guidance Manual with related lesson plans and activities.

Kyrgyzstan, one of the conflict-affected countries in Central Asia, is hosting a UNESCO International Forum on post-conflict education, “Learning to live Together” (Bishkek, 27-29 June) in parallel with the Eurasian Economic Community. The Forum aims to support education initiatives and collect best practices in the context of disaster and conflict prevention from the Central Asian countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Forum provides an opportunity to address priority issues in post-conflict education and offers a platform for networking, collaboration and seeking common solutions to common problems. The wide-ranging programme examines the role of education in conflict prevention and resolution, taking account of gender and inclusive approaches.

High-level participants include Kishore Singh, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, who will lead the session on the role of education for conflict prevention in international practices and Sadykov Kanat, Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Science, the Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO, UN Women Regional Office and Soros-Kyrgyzstan are facilitating the meeting and contributing to the sessions on social inclusion and gender-responsive education.

UNESCO’s post-conflict work includes re-orienting educational policies towards values that lay the foundation for peace and respect for human rights. It provides technical assistance and builds capacities in framing national policies and strategies for education system reforms; trains policy-makers and teachers, helps improve curricula and revise textbooks – especially history books.

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