PIC: Students sitting exams. Experts say equipping students with both academic and peacebuilding skills will minimise violence in schools
PEACE | TRAINING
KAMPALA - In a bid to combat violence in schools, education experts have called for the need to incorporate peacebuilding skills in the curriculum.
The commissioner of teacher training, Dr Jane Egau-Okou noted that increasingly, students were resorting to needless strikes, thus wasting time and resources.
"We have had many conflicts and strikes. And once the students are disorganised, the teachers too cannot prepare for lessons. You cannot progress, no matter how much you try. That is what is happening in our schools," she said.
Egau-Okou added: "If these young people were taught about peacebuilding values earlier in their lives, it would make a difference. Some of them randomly do things without thinking through them. We need to help them realise that there are peaceful ways to resolve issues."
She made the remarks at the sidelines of a recent policy dialogue on teachers training and peacebuilding. It was organised by the education ministry and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
This comes months after UNESCO announced a partnership with Japan to train about 8,000 African teachers in Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan in peacebuilding skills.
Uganda has so far trained pre-service teachers at Kaliro and Unyama National Teachers Colleges.
By training teachers, advocates hope that the skills obtained will be passed on to their students, transforming them into a peace-loving citizenry. Other project activities include a study tour to Japan, development of teacher guides and activity kits.
During the dialogue, Web Ndyabahika, a senior official from the education ministry, said conflict that is not dealt with effectively could be one of the biggest detriments to success even after school.
"While the primary focus of teaching in schools is predominantly on academic skills, we feel that life skills are equally important," Ndyabahika said.
He added that the youth are the foundation of the future and can serve as transformed mentors to their friends and family. "Any policy woven into our basic school curriculum to produce youth that can understand and resolve conflict in peace will definitely be supported," he added.