Commentary: Peace Education, The Building Block For Nigeria’s Next Generation

January 18 16:46 2013 Print This Article

By Ben Eniola

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nation. If there is to be peace in the nations. There must peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbours. If there is to peace be among neighbours there must peace in the home. There must peace in the heart–Lao Tzu.

It is truism that no meaningful development can be attained in an atmosphere of rancour. A society riddle by war, chaos and conflicts is likely to experience retardation rather than progress and development.

Nigeria as a nation has had its own share of conflicts and violence since she gained independence. There have been series of political unrest, ethnic crisis, the menace of Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants, kidnapping and so many other problems.

Conflicts, chaos and their likes in societies are often as a result of negative exploitation of ethnic multiplicity, religious intolerance, poverty, corruption and even actions of bad and irresponsible government of all which culminate into societal problems which of course lead to insecurity and instability of so many activities in the nation.
It is true that we all desire peace, no matter who we are, or where we live, but what are we doing to ensure a peaceful coexistence.

The challenge, we face today and as in the past is the inability to translate the various principles for  peace into practical reality. We merely talk about peace for others, but hardly take ownership of what we teach to become part of us. It remained a mere concept in the heart of conscious men and women. Throughout history, people have been teaching about the principles of the peace, the Holy Book commands us to live in peace with all men. We have many people who have learnt them, but the issue has been inability to ‘practice’ this idea which should have produced living models for peace.

This is the sad reality, and here, lies the need for peace education which addresses the issue of teaching, learning which practice exercise that can facilitate the emergence of peaceful people, families and eventually a peaceful world.

Peace education programmed is the type of education that inculcates in learners the right type of tenets that would make them live peacefully in the society. In the quest for peace, a group of people have decided to take the bull by the horn by setting up a programmed called ‘peace club’ in their school to sensitize their wards on the need to live peacefully with everyone around them despite their differences.

The Principal Sunshine International School, Bauchi Miss. Zara Bubah Atera, has taken up this insurmountable challenge of creating awareness on the need for peaceful co-existence through the settings up of peace club in the school, the first of it’s kind in all schools in Bauchi state.

According to Miss. Bubah, the whole idea behind the setting up of a peace club in the school is “because notice this generation, we have the problem of religious and ethnic barriers, which is what is bringing conflicts among the present generation’s I noticed that this present generation that we have, not the younger ones that are coming up, it’s a bit too late to correct this problems that we have, so I decided to start from the bottom level. We believe, will be able to resolve this ethnic and religious barrier, so that we can bring peace back to Nigeria and the World in general”.

On what could be the multiplier effects of this peace club on the society, and in the lives of the students in particular, she said “peace education will enable each of us to become peaceful in our families, school, and communities and eventually network to realize a peaceful World. The lesson been taught in the club will promote and build a new generation of peaceful people who will bring about world peace.”

On the things that are been taught in the club, she says “we essentially infuse in students values that would bring about peaceful social integration. Such value includes the maintenance of diaphone tolerance, respect for other people right culture tradition and norms. How to manage conflict among themselves, anger management skills and what the society is doing to bring peace to the Nigeria, Africa and the World in general. What happen in the absent of peace and finally on how to have their neighbours, as themselves.

She advised policy formulators to encourage the setting up of peace club in schools so as to lay a peaceful foundation for the next generation.

The holy books says “Teach a child on the right way to go and the child will not depart from it”.
Nigeria depends on these knowledgeable and thoughtfully students, who are the next future leaders to keep fanning the embers of peace and love that have been deposited in their hearts through the various teaching, and practice exercise on how to co-habit peacefully with everyone around them.

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