Schools in Uganda are about to start teaching peace education at all levels, from primary, secondary and university, either as a subject or as a detailed topic in one of the subjects currently taught.
Speaking at the Africana Hotel in Kampala on Thursday, Duncan Mugume, a national expert with the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) peace education project, said negotiations had started with the government. Ugandan to implement the idea.
“We have entered into discussions with the National Curriculum Development Center on how this can be done.”
During the reception in Kampala, a peace education manual was launched as part of the project funded by GIZ, the German Embassy and the European Union.
Mugume said negotiations with the NCDC will see how the material from the manual can be used in the curriculum and classrooms for peace education learners.
He explained that the project focuses on peace education in the Great Lakes region with four countries, including Uganda, to pilot it.
According to Mugume, while peace education is currently taught in schools in Uganda, it is not practiced extensively.
“Peace education is taught in schools, but in small thematic areas of Christian religious education and history, but has never been given a solid foundation on which a learner can be able to grasp and to implement peace related issues other than a few things it does in the subject This aims to bring peace education to the curriculum level of learners and especially in schools.
Peace education is crucial
According to Ambassador Julius Joshua Kivuna, the Head of Regional Peace and Security Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the idea which he said would ensure that the idea of peace is instilled in Ugandans from the youngest age. age.
“The Great Lakes region really needs peace because it is the most endowed region in the whole region. We have a lot of resources and people, but one of the main challenges we have faced is the lack of peace. “, said Kivuna.
He cited the unrest in Uganda until the NRA took power in 1986, but also the armed conflict in northern Uganda, in the Karamoja region; the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the conflicts in South Sudan and the instability in the eastern part of the DRC.
“We are a region that would be very far if peace had continued. Our army is now in the DRC and what they are doing is looking for those who are against peace, which remains a challenge. The education project to peace is welcome in Uganda. We pray that in the program there are local examples of conflict resolution and peacebuilding”.
George Mutekanga, assistant commissioner for private schools at the Ministry of Education, said peace education will go a long way in teaching learners the skills needed to ensure peacebuilding rather than the use of violence to solve problems.
“Lately, in many communities, disputes are resolved through fighting. In schools, when learners have problems, they resolve them through strikes and school burnings. When a student has a misunderstanding with the teacher or the administration, he just burns down the school. This initiative will go a long way in imparting conflict resolution skills to learners at lower levels of education,” noted Mutekanga.
He also suggested the formation of peace clubs in schools to further teach learners about peacebuilding, but noted that cultural institutions and faith-based organizations also have a key role to play in ensuring peacebuilding between the communities.