The starting point of our educational programs is the relationship between past and present, theory and practice, right from primary school. From a historical perspective, we examine the current security challenges in our diverse societies with specific regard for human rights and, in particular, the rights of women and girls.
Our pedagogic programs traditionally focus on the inter-state and inter-ethnic conflicts. From this historical perspective, a link is made with contemporary developments in society, where economic, civil and political rights are threatened.
Whilst AU Watch see a clear role for the AU, its Members, international and regional organisations, local communities to be important partners in the battle against insecurity, is it not the case of trying to close the stable doors after the horse has bolted?
At AU Watch we recognize the matrix of reasons that keep Africa insecure. If we agree that insecurity is the most devastating scourge in the continent that has affected lives in a particularly insidious way, how is it the case that we intend only to challenge this plague at the adult stage of our lives? Wouldn’t it make more sense if tackle this menace at the start of life before we form ingrained and maybe irreversible habits and philosophies?
It is our view that we need to use education to build peace from the bottom-up and that primary and secondary schools should be at the vanguard of a peaceful Africa. What possible harm will come to Africa if we include security studies, anti-corruption studies, African Human Rights system, Pan-Africanism studies into history, civic education, ethics, religious, literature and language lessons? Primary and secondary schools not only have a role in advancing knowledge, contributing to solving African problems and driving economic development, but the teaching of ethics and morals, appropriate behaviour and African traditional knowledge about living together, right from infancy might just be one of the keys to of a successful fight against corruption.
To quote a Holy Book that admonishes parents to teach and train their children from infancy about good citizenship: “These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart, and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Another passage from that Holy Book underscores the importance of the early training of children: “and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation …”. Indeed, all the holy books, including the Koran and the Torah emphasize the teaching of good morals and appropriate behaviour immediately after birth.
As part of its contribution of contributing to peace in Africa and fighting corruption, AU Watch’s Pan-African Institute for AU Studies in collaboration with its Media, Communication and Education Team, education departments across Africa are developing curricula and syllabuses on AU Studies, including peace, anti-corruption, Pan-Africanism for primary and secondary schools. Achieving peace, fighting corruption demands a generational change, and students have to be the key constituents in this shift. This means that we have to teach and train Africa’s most important resource immediately after birth on peace initiatives, anti-corruption, civic participation, open government and transparency. Why should it not be the case of organizing our schools to come together to support national and international networks of research and learning across Africa, in conjunction with governments, to ensure relevant lessons become the basis for shared action?
AU Watch’s Pan-Africanism media and advocacy teams will also be organizing schools’ workshops and leading debates on peace and corruption. It is also developing courses on the broader aspects of corruption and methods of fighting the scourge and making these courses available for tertiary education. Working with law schools, particularly, AU Watch will advance reflection on appropriate methods of advancing peace, detecting and curtailing corruption, and document successful cases of effective mechanisms and institutions to address the issues.
In collaboration with AU Watch’s ‘Nelson Mandela Leadership Forum’, AU Watch is also working with the Ministry of Education of The Gambia to develop immediate interventions that would entail workshops to train civil society and local leaders on ethical leadership and sound public policy processes.
Our Peace Education Curriculum is the first of its kind to be developed in Africa for primary and secondary schools in Africa.
Our Peace Education Curriculum
The following is a proposed curriculum / framework for peace education for primary and secondary schools in Africa. The objective is to create a greater understanding of how peace can become a reality in Africa. We are trying to build an educational peace site where African peace efforts are discussed in relation to achieving an Africa that is truly able to silence the guns.
The curriculum intends to:
Teach students the knowledge of peace that can heighten their dignity and individuality.
1. Improve student’s knowledge about conflict, peace, war, power, gender and ethnic equity, economic justice, and the understanding of ecology for peace.
2. Guide students to develop a sense of trust in association among humans, including self-introduction, respect of others, ability to manage the environment, broad-mindedness, the possession of life vision, and love of justice in building the sense of togetherness.
3. Supervise students to develop talent, critical thinking, cooperative ability, tolerance and creativity as skills for solving problems of life without violence.
4. Grow and develop in students mutual respect based on the essence of rights, obligation, and responsibilities.
5. Help develop students’ attitudes that highly value diversity, togetherness, social and juridical justice in building society, nation, and religious life.
6. Create in students open mindedness in all aspects of life.
7. Develop appreciation and actualization of Africa’s unique Ubuntu cultural wisdom that can function in creating peacefulness in personal and communal life.
8. Enable students to possess autonomous behavior, and be visionary and responsible in creating peace and civilized society.
Students are expected to:
Critically think of ways of solving problems
Utilize various strategies and approaches in responding to conflict
Solve problems fairly by accommodating different interests
⦁ Critical thinking
⦁ Social sensitivity
What’s in the curriculum?
Introduction to Peace
⦁ Peace definitions
⦁ Types and locations of Peace
⦁ Philosophy of peace in life
⦁ Past and present peace makers
⦁ Peace education agenda
⦁ Using the arts to teach peace
⦁ Introductory peace education through mindfulness, self-awareness and interpersonal communications
⦁ Peace processes and ways to facilitate peace
⦁ Conflict resolution and transformation
Online Peace programs
⦁ Inner Peace, Enlightenment, Salvation and the End of Suffering
⦁ Peace in countries and governments
⦁ Peace awards
⦁ Peace Treaties
Peace in Practice
⦁ Practicing Peace in Real Life
⦁ Teaching Peace
⦁ Promoting Peace
⦁ Peace Occupations
Are you a teacher with knowledge and skills in developing curricula? You want to assist in developing human rights programmes for schools and colleges. We will be interested in hearing from you. Write to us.