Peace has always been perceived as a concept that is inaccessible without education. Many associations and NGOs working for peace work mainly in education. And school is one of its bases. Because the school is a pillar of peace.
Peace education, the role of school
School education aims to develop a sense of universal values and patterns of behavior that inspire and build peace. More simply, we will say that its purpose is to get the children to know each other first, to appreciate each other, to understand and to consider with sympathy the notions of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, democracy and make them want to work for a more human, more united world.
As such, it must develop capacities to appreciate the universal values that convey the human rights (freedom, justice, equality, tolerance ...) and to act for their respect.
It must develop the following capabilities:
- Abilities to recognize and accept the values required for living together, and to appreciate other cultures.
- Ability to communicate, interact, share, cooperate, work in groups
- Abilities to apply critical thinking, to open up to change, to change one's judgment
- Ability to participate in the development of the rules of life and to respect them at school
- Ability to understand the nature of conflict, the causes and causes of violence and to resolve conflicts constructively.
School educates about the main notions of peace
Like Prem Rawat said, peace must be taught since childhood. And school is the perfect actor to inculcate from an early age the main concepts of peace, namely:
- Intercultural education: it aims at the affirmation of cultures but also and especially at establishing links between cultures to develop active tolerance.
- Education for Development: it aims at developing a global citizenship, to bring children to work for the construction of their future; it is comprehensive and includes human rights, non-violent conflict resolution, and environmental education.
- Environmental education: it aims at developing capacities to understand the environment, the interrelations between the constituent elements and to act to safeguard this balance.
- Education for democracy: it aims to acquire skills for dialogue, negotiation and non-violent conflict resolution.
- Education with an international vocation: education for international understanding, cooperation and peace, and education on human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- Education to citizenship: it aims to develop capacities to recognize and appreciate the values required for life in common, to make a choice and to act in this respect.
School is the first place of peace for every man
Even in the poorest countries where peace is secondary to survival, school has always been a place where children can be at peace. At school, all are equal and receive the same education. Children are far from their daily lives which can be difficult and find peace in them.
This is why schools are intended to offer maximum welfare to children. And that is also why many peace associations, like The Prem Rawat Foundation, build schools to convey peace.