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Peace Education and its need in the contemporary world

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By: Areeja Syed

 Peace is one of the basic and essential elements of human life. Political and economic institutes are considered essential in the peace process. Diplomatic and economic consolidation in the state can ensure peace and stability.  The state which follows Islamic rules to run the economy and does not take interest can make the society powerful and prosperous. No doubt that it can transform society as a peaceful society but there is a need to go deep to address certain issues. In 1970, a new term was introduced called, Global Education by the UNICEF MENA (United Nations Children’s Fund Middle East and North African Region). It includes several concepts e.g. amity, dispute evasion, habitat, bionomics, forbearance, individual hygiene, collaboration, multiculturalism, relative vision on human and child’s rights. UNICEF is promoting peace education and programs which aim at resolving all clashes and dispelling hostility whether at an individual or national level, apparent or constitutional levels (Khan, 2018).

Phases to gain peace can be classified as peacekeeping,peacemaking, and peacebuilding. The peacemaking process is gained by using the power of law enforcement agencies like police or army. Talks and dialogues are also carried out to placate the hostile groups but if the crime is committed, strict action will be taken by the government. Peacebuilding is a dynamic process, utilizes peace education to develop consolidate society and culture and eliminate antagonism. Peace education instills the characteristics of benevolence and collaboration and eradicates hostility to avoid peacemaking and peacekeeping steps. Let’s take a look at the aims of peace education (Study.com, n.d).

Peace education consists of peace and education, the two main theories. Education is a process of facilitating learning and acquisition of knowledge and values, beliefs and habits prevalent in the society. The procedure of peace is obscure and not clearly explained. Here, there is also a need to understand the first negative and positive peace first, the terms presented by Johan Galtung. Authors have categorized it as positive and negative peace. Negative peace is the absence of human abuses and corporal infliction and non-existence of war, where there is structural and unstructured violence. Positive peace indicates a social and political system where there is no direct or indirect aggression, inequity or suppression of human rights. The area of peace education has not yet developed as a discipline but its main objective is to impart the knowledge regarding peace and to implement it in its true sense. It teaches the students how to settle the disputes peacefully without using unfair means and achieve the goals of peace by becoming responsible citizens.  It is different from the idea of settling the dispute after it has taken place. Peace education strives for taking precautionary measures to prevent the happening of any mishap. It promotes the concepts of kindness, goodwill, honoring and caring for others, justice and equality, elimination of hostility for the development of a peaceful society (Peace Education, n.d).

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Peace Education in South Asia:

Almost every state in South Asia is suffering from violence or aggression in different forms. Pakistan also has to contend with such issues regarding militant agitation, religious extremism, and sectarianism or border conflicts. The root cause of such conflicts is the existence of multicultural societies and communities. South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are confronting fundamentalism, violence, and intolerance.  Such fragmented societies are subject to biasness, enmity, and aggression. Educating the masses is the only solution to eradicate all these menaces and promote forbearance and benevolence. Peace education points out the actual reasons for social discords including communal, religious, caste, tribal, or class conflicts. It transmits concepts of goodwill and peace, thus, shapes the minds of students accordingly. This program applies different policies in different countries according to the situation. It is imperative to impart this education at the school level. Educating the masses through these institutions is the best possible solution to instill such good characteristics in the future and the younger generation. Nepal has launched a four-year program to educate the students about civics and human rights. It is part of their non-formal and formal educational set up and syllabus, even for teachers as well. Sri Lanka has also started conflict resolution studies at the junior level and has also prepared guidelines for the instructors (Ahmed, 2017). In educational institutions, it will improve competency, behavior, positivity, clemency, wisdom, and knowledge. It will automatically develop an environment suitable for this kind of education by using different educational devices and strategies. Cooperation, collaboration, discussion and research to get authentic knowledge also fulfill the objectives of peace education. It entails the involvement of both teachers and students. It aspires to make students more responsible and tolerant to adopt a positive outlook in life to obtain the desired goals. Teachers play the role of supervisor and instructor to streamline this learning process. To some extent, peace education provides a chance to enhance peace, dialogue and consultation process to all apprentices and inculcate sportsman spirit and sagaciousness at large scale. Peace education can be imparted by tutoring and socialization but there mustn’t be any kind of corporal or incorporeal retribution in the society especially at children (Wahyudin, 2018). The teachers have to follow a rigid and unadaptable approach without any modification. This kind of education is suitable for those institutes who focus on the retaining and cramming abilities of students to memorize the concepts without comprehending them. This kind of system restricts the ways to reflect, ponder, discuss, enquire or search on given the topics. Most of our schools adopt the policy to listen and learn but do not explore. Students are compelled to follow an intransigent model and exhibit extreme obedience like a cop without any thought of objection or question. It stops their actual learning and creativity. This system is better for fresh students who will start learning these concepts. When our children will have the peaceful thinking, obviously when they grew up, some of them will become policymakers and others will go to different fields surely they will adopt that policy which eventually creates peace in the society and not violence.

About Author: Author is pursuing M.S in International Relations from COMSATS University Islamabad.

 

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