EDUCATION experts across the globe who participated in the recently concluded 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance Religions’ Peace (WARP) organised by the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN ECOSOC, in Seoul, South Korea, urged world leaders to embrace peace education in ensuring peace globally.
As a part of “establishing collaborative governance for development and implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL in 2016 to advocate international cooperation with participation of civil society in peacebuilding efforts, the forum with education specialists as participants diagnosed the current issues of education in countries and discussed introduction and application of peace education inspired by HWPL.
Speaking on the topic; “Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace”, experts agreed to come up with the idea that a world of peace without conflicts and wars should start from classrooms.
In his welcome address, Chairman HWPL, Man Hee Lee emphasized the comprehensive application of peace education.
According to him, “We need peace education specifically for today. We ourselves should be the reality of peace education. Without the spirit of peace in himself, how can he possibly educate peace to students? To do this, peace education must start from family, so that the family becomes peaceful with the spirit of peace.”
The Vice Minister of Ministry of Education in Guatemala, Honourable Maria Eugenia Barrios Robles de Mejía said the purpose and importance of peace education in human development cannot be underestimated, hence the need to employ the instrumentality of education in spreading the message of peace.
His words; “What role does education have in the diffusion of the culture of peace?” We are contributing to the promotion of the culture of peace in the world. We would help the citizens of tomorrow be more tolerant of each other and that a dialogue or discussion is the way to accept their differences and solve their conflicts.”
Former Principal of Camps Bay Preparatory School in Cape Town, Nancy Roussopoulos, charged the teachers that “When we as teachers take up the responsibility to speak to our students and be the necessary role models concerning how we speak, relationships and the adherence to order within society, we will start seeing the results in our students.”
Another teacher at Don Bosco University, Professor Juan Carlos Torres shared his teaching experience of peace education by saying “When I applied the focus of ‘conflict resolution’ value of HWPL, with children 5-9 years old (considered problem children for the college), the result was surprising. The change in attitude in their faces and joy was drawn on the paper like in this image. This education will change and form these values within their hearts as a permanent change.”
Participants also discussed ways to enhance communication and network for inventing methodology and curriculum of peace education for future generations and to raise awareness of the need for teachers’ understanding the value of peace with detailed educational contents.
As an action plan to develop peace education discussed at the high-level meeting with education specialists last year at the summit, HWPL has established HWPL Peace Academies with 127 education institutions in 9 countries including India, Israel, Kosovo, and the Philippines.