*Dr. Ajay Kumar Attri, Lecturer; Department of Education,
MLSM College ; Sundernagar; Mandi (H.P)
Education shall be directed toward the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Article 26, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Peace education is an elusive concept. Although peace always has been and continues to be the object of an unceasing quest in almost all communities and groups, the training of each new generation centers on divisive issues of in-group/out-group differentiations, intergroup conflict and ongoing preparation for defense and war against real and perceived enemies. The universal presence of conflict and war in human history has always necessitated that priority be given to education for conflict management and war preparation, and for the preservation of the larger community, every new generation has been prepared to be sacrificed at the altar of war. However, as a result of experiencing the world-devouring and technologically advanced wars of the last two centuries, and the parallel emergence of world-embracing concepts and perspectives on the fundamental oneness and interrelatedness of all humanity, in recent decades the concept of peace education has gained momentum and is gradually being accepted as an important and necessary dimension of truly democratic and progressive societies.
The promotion of peace through education is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission. As stated in its constitution of 1945, UNESCO advances international peace and the common welfare of humanity through educational, scientific and cultural relations between peoples of the world. Though the world has changed over the past sixty years and continues to change at an ever increasing rate, UNESCO’s mission - a commitment to promoting universal values of peace and nonviolence, human rights and social justice, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding – persists with growing urgency. UNESCO’s approach to educating for peace is multidimensional, in that it links education with a range of activities that address the root causes of violence, from human security to sustainable development.
The goal of UNESCO’s education programmes and partnerships is the development of comprehensive systems of education that embrace the values of human rights, intercultural understanding and tolerance. Education for peace and non-violence promotes the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire these values.
➢ ORIGIN OF PEACE EDUCATION:
In 1945, the United Nations was established to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, “to reaffirm faith in the …dignity and worth of the human person [and] in the equal rights of men and women”, “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”, and “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…”. (Preamble to the UN Charter)
Peace education has developed as a means to achieve these goals. It is education that is “directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”. It promotes “understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups” and furthers “the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.” (Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Peace education encompasses the key concepts of education and peace. While it is possible to define education as a process of systematic institutionalized...