Project promoting teachers as peace-builders launched at AKU (The Frontier Star (Pakistan))

Teachers can bring a sustainable peace in conflict areas by teaching their students a new subject: peacebuilding, a process that prevents the recurrence of violence by addressing root causes.
This cannot be addressed without good governance, conflictsensitive education policy, transparency, and fair distribution of education resources.
This was the message given at the launch of a multicountry research project at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development. Partners involved in the study, “Engaging teachers in peacebuilding in conflictaffected and postconflict contexts” will explore teachers’ contribution towards supporting education for promoting peace.
The research will explore the extent to which education and peace building measures and interventions encourage teachers to promote peace and reduce inequalities. It will also take into account teachers’ practices and attitudes that have been influenced by national and international educational policies and its results on learners.
Focusing on the importance of research, Head, Research, AKUIED, Professor Anjum Halai, said the study will bring to the fore the teaching areas that have so far remained ambiguous.
“We know little about how teachers are trained and deployed; how and what teachers teach; what textbooks they use; and the conditions they teach in, in relation to peace building,” remarked Professor Halai, who is the country lead and partner for the Pakistanbased component of the project.
“By strengthening the evidence basis in these areas this research project will assist the government, donor and international institutions target programmes and investment in education most effectively,” she added.
It will add to national and global dialogue on teachers as agents of peace building. while developing indicators and a system to evaluate the efficacy of such educational interventions.
“Teachers, teaching and teacher education are at the heart of a renewed focus on education quality. This is why this multicountry research project seeks to research these issues to promote peace and build social cohesion in and through education,” said Dr. Yousuf Sayed, Principal Investigator of the project and South African Research Chair in Teacher Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa and Reader in International Education, UK.
The conclusions of the research will provide the knowledge for an informed education policy dialogue in Pakistan. This will help the education systems secure equity and justice for all and create the foundation for stable and cohesive societies. It will also take into account the teachers’ practices and attitudes that have been influenced by national and international educational policies, and the outcome for learners.
The project is in collaboration with Bristol University, the University of Rwanda and Cape Peninsula University of Technology, which will be working with the members of the Centre for International Education (CIE) at Sussex. The research will be conducted in partnership with
UNICEF country offices and government institutions in Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Myanmar.
Partners from South Africa and Rwanda include Professor Azeem Badroodien, deputy director, Centre for International Teacher Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and Dr. Eugene Ndabaga and Dr Jolly Rubagiza of University of Rwanda, College of Education.