The Wars, The World and the Peace We Want, UNESCO’S GCED Answer

UNESCO, World Forum on Citizenship Education 2015, Peace and educationWars, terrorism, carnage, holocaust, Militancy is becoming a recurrent word in human lexicon. It appears the world’s peace is being threatened each day. Across the continents and the nations of the world, we humans have not been able to resolve our differences amicably.  It appears humans are now at the verge of their wits ends. Instead of creating more room for peace, we are daily increasing the budget for arms and  ammunitions. Wars have not just started, it is the present magnitude that calls for concern.

Making a case for peace, it must begins from human hearts. Wars start from the heart and if we must nib the issues at the source, human minds need a lot of changes in the present narratives. While we keep hoping and wishing, there is a need for a  change in information dissemination. The notion of insensitivity, greed, avarice, superiority over others as well as lack of concerns for sanctity of human lives which make nations go to war  against nations, individuals against individuals or opposing groups needs a form of reconsideration .

Human level of intolerance today appears to be reaching its highest plateau. Anger management and a believe that others have a right to the opinions they hold without any provocation must be addressed. If we consider the value of a life, our world may have less bloodshed. Imagine what Sudan,  Nigeria, Syria,  Pakistan, Palestine, Iran, Iraq,Israel, Kenya will look like if everyone, organizations work towards a better society where we build better understanding instead of looking out for revenge or pursuit of personal or other selfish group Interest.  Wars have not been known to solve any major problem. The presence of peace in itself is not anyway suggests absence  of tension. But if we all work hard on making the world a better place, global peace is achievable.

Looking at the issues from all sides, one of the best ways to address the issue of wars in our world is to rethink our education system. It appears the kind of  education we all received might have had its own parts to play. The writer remembered with nostalgia how civic education was part of the required subjects each pupils In Nigeria must take few decades ago. In civics education,  the value of citizenship in terms of responsibilities, rights, privileges were enshrined in the minds of the young ones as soon as they had opportunity to start formal education.Prior to this, parents had time to inculcate values that could rightly shaped our world for better before any exposure to formal education.

While we could not say these were good old days, as we had issues with some of the traditions being taught  with regards to several limiting cultural myths to battle with . Total abandonment of civic education as we have today could have been a factor to lack of peace in Africa. We knew then also, there was no global media which could sell some of the ideas that are provoking wars in African child’s mind then, but if media Is rightly used despite its shortcomings and over celebrations of certain bad habits, our world will become a saner place that is free of wars. Even if that is not guaranteed  at least we can have a reduction on human carnage as well as holocaust we daily witnessed.

If we must fix the Issue of lack of peace, we must re evaluate the purpose of education. We must fix the broken promises education Is aimed to supply. Quality and relevant education which teaches everyone about needs to be a responsible global citizen must be promoted. Education which makes individuals to understands that their own opinion is not final and that man and woman are born equal, irrespective of race, ethnic and colour will go a long way to make our world a safer place to be. unfortunately, as we have today, the world had not been able to keep its promise of having every child educated to basic school level. It is 2015, many developing Countries still have a long mark to catch up with.

Out of school children’s rate must still be addressed. They need to be in school or any setting which can get them exposed to values in global citizenship education. An uninformed mind may be a ready tool for war and destruction. This has been proven to be true especially in low/zero income Countries of the world.Lack of basic understanding of what global citizenship education demands make people to use all means available to them to provoke others beyond certain levels. This often results to wars and wanton destruction which are needless.  To address the issue of war, we need to address the promise education must need to fulfil in the lives of human.

Education curricula in many parts of the world needs re evaluation and lots of rethinking. The more we invest  in arms and ammunitions at the expense of quality education and peace building, the world may not witness the kind of peace we all desire.Education of today must help us, human being,   to learn to be, know and helps us to live together. Until this is fulfilled, we may continue to experience the status qou. Interestingly, hope is not lost since we are called human beings. It is a continuous development factor that separate humans from other mamals/animals.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is an International Development organizations established with the mission of ‘building peace in the minds of men and women’. Established in 1945 after two world wars, It aims to find lasting peace to the world. Having realised that economic and political affiliations between two nations is not enough but it must also be rooted in humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. Over the years, UNESCO has strived to create a conducive atmosphere where education , Scientific and Cultural issues which may impact on world peace are given pride of place. To fully address this, it has created a unit which addresses issues  around global citizenship education by looking at policy and promotion of  guidelines on transformative pedagogues among other.

As we may want to know, global citizenship education is all about exposing and inculcating into learners at different cadres values for respect for human rights, gender equality, social justice,  diversity etc. With these terms of reference UNESCO’S Global Citizenship Education unit has been Involved In raising the dialogue around these thematic issue It has organized a World Forum in 2013. In 2015 January, UNESCO’s GCED unit will also be bringing about 150 global experts in education: academics, media, policy, youth,Permanent Delegation officials, Civil society, around the world, together in Its forthcoming  2nd World Forum on Global Citizenship Education. Part of this forum objectives are to develop a framework,inputs Into Post 2015 education demands and how education contributes to peace among others.

One cannot but have high expectations about the outcomes of this Forum which holds in Paris between January 28-30, 2015. Our world needs peace and this we must pursue. All hands must be on deck. Education must plays its role. We are optimistic the   outcome will put forwards quality dialogue that will enrich the forthcoming World forum on education coming up in May 2015. We can only wish UNESCO’S division of Education, Teaching, Learning and Content team as well as Chief of Sub section, Global Health & Global Citizensship Education (Christopher Castle)a successful hosting of this highly relevant forum to world peace.

Written by Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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About Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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