Resolving Conflict

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Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences ( 2010) Vol 2, No 2,953- 965

Integrated Education: An Instrument for Resolving Ife-Modakeke Conflict in Osun State, Nigeria Shina Olayiwola, Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife, Nigeria) Ndukaku Okorie, Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife, Nigeria)

Opinion Paper Abstract: Ife and Modakeke communities in Southwestern Nigeria have engaged in protracted communal violence. The conflict has grown and matured to the extent that it is no longer a physical battle alone. Its psychological dimension has reached the extent that both parties are in cold war. Efforts of informal social networks and formal community institutions put in place to address the conflict have not produced lasting peace. Education is an instrument of achieving social change by identifying sources of conflict and resolving them. Thus, this paper examines the intensity of the crisis, strategies to curb the violence and why these strategies have failed. It therefore proposes an integrated education premised on contact theory to resolve Ife-Modakeke conflict. It is argued that integrated school as it operates in USA, Northern Ireland, and Israel is a peace initiative. It involves educating children from communities that have suffered from prolonged communal conflict in an integrated school environment to enhance better cross-community relations. It therefore concludes that contact between communities within an educational setting would reduce intolerant attitudes and lead to better intergroup relations. Keywords: Integrated Education, Conflict, Ife, Modakeke, Contact

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Introduction

In a society suffering from prolonged conflict (religious, ethnic or communal), the integrating of cultures (people, customs, mores) through education seems to be a hopeful and lasting initiative for conflict resolution. Ife and Modakeke are neighbouring communities in Osun State,

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Integrated Education: An Instrument for Resolving Ife-Modakeke Conflict in Osun State, Nigeria

Nigeria, which have engaged in protracted communal violence and intra-ethnic conflict. Asiyanbola (2007) asserted that so far, there had been seven major wars between the Ifes and Modakekes, that is- 1835-1849, 1882-1909, 19461949, 1981, 1983, 1997-1998, and 2000. Based on this, the conflict appears to be the oldest intra-ethnic conflict in Nigeria because it has been going on for more than a century. Also, Augsburger (2002) and Omotayo (2005) concluded that the conflict has become its own raison deter; its own self-empowered, and self-fulfilling, as it had since detached from its original cause. The conflict has grown and matured to the extent that it is no longer a physical battle alone. Its psychological dimension has reached the extent that both parties are in cold war. Asiyanbola (2007) concluded that women that are married to the other community and particularly their children have identity crisis in the sense that some see each other as strangers and enemy, although quite a percentage of the respondents see each other as kinsmen. Therefore, it seems there is existence of segregation between the two communities in terms of marriage and even schooling most especially among the youths. Education is often used as a tool for achieving social change in the society. Hence, there should be an educational setting in which children from Ife and Modakeke communities would attend school together. This would ensure contact of not only the pupils at school but also the parents in the management of school. This paper examines the intensity of the crisis, strategies to curb the violence and why these strategies have not produced lasting solution. It also considers an integrated education as a peace initiative based on contact theory according to which Ife and Modakeke communities should be brought together in the same school setting in order to overcome their...
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