The discussion about the development of peace education took place on the first day of the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on September 17, organised by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN ECOSOC.
As a part of “establishing collaborative governance for development and implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL in 2016 to advocate international cooperation with participation of civil society in peace building efforts, the forum with education specialists as participants diagnosed the current issues of education in countries and discussed introduction and application of peace education inspired by HWPL.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL emphasized comprehensive application of peace education by saying, “We need peace education specifically for today. We ourselves should be the reality of peace education. Without the spirit of peace in himself, how can he possibly educate peace to students? To do this, peace education must start from family so that the family becomes peaceful with the spirit of peace.”
Maria Eugenia Barrios Robles de Mejía, Vice Minister of Education in Guatemala, said “We should help the citizens of tomorrow be more tolerant of each other and know that a dialogue is the way to accept their differences and solve their conflicts.”
Participants discussed ways to enhance communication and network for inventing methodology and curriculum of peace education for future generations and to raise awareness of the need for teachers’ understanding of the value of peace with detailed educational contents.
“When we as teachers take up the responsibility to speak to our students, and be the necessary role models concerning how we speak, relationships and the adherence to order within society, we will start seeing the results in our students.” said Nancy Roussopoulos, former Principal of Camps Bay Preparatory School in Cape Town, South Africa.
Prof. Juan Carlos Torres from Don Bosco University shared his teaching experience of peace education by saying “When I applied the focus of ‘conflict resolution’ value of HWPL, with children 5-9 years old, the result was surprising. The change in attitude in their faces and joy was drawn on the paper. This education will change and form these values within their hearts as a permanent change.”
As an action plan to develop peace education discussed at the high-level meeting with education specialists last year, HWPL has established HWPL Peace Academies with 127 education institutions in nine countries including India, Israel, Kosovo, and the Philippines.