THERE IS NEED to inculcate peace education programmes in the formal education system to ensure that children acquire skills on how they can combine education they get with the former in order to help build a worlf free of conflict.
Education experts made the call on Sunday during the opening of a three-day international conference on peace education in protestant schools as a contribution to learning for sustainability.
The conference brought together about sixty participants from seventeen countries across the globe.
According to Rev Dr Cornelle Gato Munyamasoko, the conference was organised in partnership with the global Pedagogical Network –Joining in reformation (GPENreformation) and the Protestant Council of Rwanda (CPR) to reflect on concepts of protestant schools in overcoming conflict and promoting in reconciliation.
He said it also aimed at deliberating on the contribution of protestant schools toward the wellbeing and social cohesion of communities, share ideas and concepts in regard to peace education in the Great Lakes Region, and learn from the contribution of the churches.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Dr Joyce Musabe, Deputy Director-General in charge of curriculum and pedagogical materials, Rwanda Education Board (REB), said peace education is very critical.
“If you observe what is happening in the world in general and in sub-Saharan, in particular, peace education is an important topic. Many countries today are confronted with ethnic and political conflicts and the rise of fundamentalist religious movements and this justifies the relevance of peace and tolerance,” she said
She said that protestant schools account for 20 per cent of national schools as per the 2016 Ministry of Education statistics, including private and government aided schools.
The churches, she said, have also been involved in construction of schools, training of teachers and administrators, monitoring of teachers, among others.
The government will continue to work closely with regional and international partners whose interest is in supporting education, especially in STEM and TVET courses, which will contribute to the national development, Musabe said
Rev. Dr Birgit Sendler Koschel, Head of the department of Education at the Evangelical Church of Germany, said peace education across the globe is badly needed.
“Youth have to learn how to deal with people of different walks of life, not everyone thinks in the same way as everyone else. Peace education, therefore, looks to solve issues that may arise in the day-to-day lives of people” she said.
“Schools should prepare youth for the future,” she added.
Frederick Fondznyuy Njobati, one of the participants from Cameroon, said he was optimistic the conference would help them discuss pertinent issues that will in turn help them promote peace education in their respective countries.